Monday, 15 December 2014 00:00

Saint Paul’s Take Part in Parliament Week

Press Release - 15th December 2014

The goal of Parliament Week is to engage young people with the democratic process, and this was certainly embraced by the pupils of Saint Paul’s Catholic High School in Wythenshawe. As part of Parliament Week the pupils engaged in a multitude of activities aimed at raising awareness and understanding of Parliament and democracy in the UK.

The aim of Parliament Week is to highlight the work and history of the UK Parliament, how it is relevant to UK citizens and how pupils can get involved in the democratic process. The event was founded in 2011, and is co-ordinated by the House of Commons with support from the House of Lords.

At Saint Paul’s, the pupils took part in an open debate group, a Question Time with the Head Teacher and the week culminated with whole school parliament elections.

“We were very keen to get our pupils involved in Parliament Week and raise their awareness of the democratic process,” explained Ms Michelle Davies, School Parliament Link teacher. “The programme of events at Saint Paul’s was designed to inspire, engage and connect our pupils with parliamentary democracy. It’s been a fantastic opportunity for them to take part in a nation-wide initiative that helps them become better informed about their Parliament.”

“Parliament Week was a great opportunity for our pupils to engage and connect with politics and their Parliament,” commented Mrs Fiona Minshall, Head Teacher at Saint Paul’s. “The Week also offered a fantastic opportunity to highlight the work and history of the Houses of Parliament and to discuss Parliament’s relevance with students.”

Ends.

Monday, 15 December 2014 00:00

OFSTED confusion over British Values

Press Release - 15th December 2014

St Benedict's Catholic School in Bury St Edmunds was shocked to learn that the school has been placed on an Ofsted list of schools that are not dealing effectively with extremism and radicalism, despite Ofsted inspectors highlighting none of these concerns in their recent no-notice inspection in September.

Mr O'Neill, Headteacher of St Benedict's, said, "I can only suppose that the inclusion of St Benedict's on the list was the result of the first "flawed" inspection report. I could just about understand how that error might have occurred. What worries me is that Ofsted were informed of the mistake two weeks ago, and have failed to provide an adequate response. It is also very disturbing that, if they do maintain that the dangers of radicalisation and extremism still exist at St Benedict's, they have done nothing to inform me, the governors or the Diocesan Education Office of the danger.

"We have had to accept that the no-notice inspection was not triggered by the "Trojan horse" affair, but was a routine inspection- despite the fact that it took place less than 18 months after our previous inspection. The continuing accusation that this school is one of a handful identified with radicalisation and extremism concerns is hugely disturbing. I think parents and the local community deserve to know why St Benedict's Catholic School remains at the centre of this Ofsted focus, when their Senior HMI, Asyia Khazmi, assured both me and the governors that she was satisfied that no such concern remained.''

Paul Barber, Director of the Catholic Education Service, said, "We are extremely concerned that Ofsted is publicly listing St Benedict's as one of the eleven schools which 'were not preparing pupils for life in Britain today.' These concerns cannot be found in the School's Ofsted report. This is an unjust and unsubstantiated accusation and we hope Ofsted will clarify this matter and apologise to the school and parents for the confusion and upset caused.

"We are proud that Catholic schools promote values that are both Catholic and British, including: respect for the individual, democracy, individual liberty, respect, tolerance and inclusiveness. Our schools promote cohesion by serving more ethnically diverse and poorer communities. Catholic schools provide high standards of education which are popular with parents from all social, economic and faith backgrounds.

"We welcome the role of Ofsted in ensuring accountability, transparency and inclusive education for all, regardless of belief. However it is essential that Ofsted provides support and clarification for their own staff on the matter of British Values to prevent mistakes like this from reccurring."

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Thursday 29 and Friday 30 January 2015

At the Thistle Hotel, Marble Arch
Bryanston St, London W1H 7EH

"Be Ambitious for the Higher Gifts"

Please contact David Dawson for more infomation and to book a place: dtdawson100 @ hotmail.com

Press Release – 28 November 2014

Today the Catholic Education Service (CES) published its annual census of Catholic schools and colleges in England and Wales. This year the response rate from Catholic schools reached 100% making this data the most accurate ever.

Paul Barber, Director of CES, said “It is a testimony to the hard work of all involved that this year’s census had a 100% return rate. This means that our data is much more reliable than many other sources of national data and provides a clear indication of the important role that Catholic schools play in the education sector. As the largest provider of secondary schools and the second largest provider of primary schools, we will continue to work to raise education standards and provide an inclusive education for all.”

The Census revealed a growth in the size of the sector with an increase of 3795 pupils educated in Catholic maintained schools and an increase of 1322 teachers working in Catholic maintained schools in England since last year. The Catholicity of pupils and teachers remained constant from previous years.

The Census also showed that Catholic schools continue to serve more diverse communities and there has been an increase in the proportion of pupils from ethnic minorities. 35.9% of pupils in Catholic maintained primary schools are from ethnic minority backgrounds (29.5% nationally) and 31.4% of pupils in Catholic maintained secondary schools are from ethnic minority backgrounds (25.3% nationally).

The proportion of pupils from deprived areas has also increased from last year. 17.9% of pupils at Catholic maintained secondary schools live in the most deprived areas (12.0% nationally). In primary schools the gap has widened considerably since 2013.  19.2% (18.4% in 2013) of pupils at Catholic maintained primary schools live in the most deprived areas (10% (13.8% in 2013) nationally).

Note to editors

The Catholic Education Service (CES) is an agency of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales.

The CES Census digests for England and for Wales and a Key Facts summary bookmark can be found on our website http://www.catholiceducation.org.uk/ces-census

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