Diocese of Salford
Why have Catholic Schools and Colleges?
The Church has always promoted education. God made the world, and everything and everybody in it; and the more we understand the world, its history, and our place in it as human beings, the better equipped we are to increase our faith and hope in God, our love for God and our neighbour, and our love for the Church on earth, in and through which God invites us all to come to know, love and serve him.
As the Catechism says, “Parents are the principal and first educators of their children”. So all schools exist to help parents to fulfil this duty and privilege of providing education. A short answer to the question “Why have Catholic schools and colleges?” is, “So that Catholic parents can have the best opportunities for enabling their children to grow to responsible adulthood in the knowledge and love of God and neighbour”, or putting it another way, “the best opportunities for helping their children to develop a deeply-rooted and fully mature Catholic faith and life”.
This means that the schools and colleges must be good schools and colleges – they must do their best to provide competent or even excellent teaching through a full and well-balanced curriculum, in a good atmosphere which encourages achievement. And they must be Catholic schools and colleges: not in theory or in name only, but by way of a readiness to promote understanding of and commitment to the fullness of Catholic truth and sacramental life, even in the face of the increasing rejection of Catholic values (which are truly human values, to be embraced by everybody, not only Catholics) by people with power and influence in today’s world.
It is a great blessing that there are many Catholic schools and colleges in England and Wales (they are “maintained schools”, mostly classed as voluntary aided schools) which since 1944 have been able to provide education for Catholic pupils without school fees, as all the recurring expenses of the schools are paid by Government. Salford Diocese is determined that all the Catholic maintained schools for which it is responsible as Trustee will be and will remain truly worthy of the description “Catholic”.
Religious Education in Catholic Schools
Religious Programmes in Roman Catholic primary schools are to be directed by the Religious Education Curriculum Directory (3-19) for Catholic Schools and Colleges England and Wales.
Support and guidance for the development of primary RE Curriculum will be provided by the Diocesan RE Adviser in collaboration with the Religious Education Association of Leaders (REAL Group).
“The Way, The Truth and The Life” is the recommended scheme for RE Curriculum in Primary schools. Bishop Brain approved this scheme for use from September 2013.
The Primary Partnership is the recognised organisation to represent Head Teachers in their working consultation with the Department for Formation, Office for Education.
The Primary Partnership mission statement is:
"We, on behalf of all the Catholic Primary Head Teachers in the Salford Diocese, will consult together with the Diocesan Office for Education and the RE Advisers, on matters of common interest, for the good of all members and our school communities in the Diocese, in line with the true spirit of the Catholic faith."
The Primary Partnership is an extremely effective body that participates in the positive developments within the Diocese of Salford. In recent times it has been one of the driving forces behind the development of the Review, Evaluation and Celebration of Catholic Schools (5Ws) with Officers from the diocesan education department.
The Primary Partnership consists of a central committee, made uop from the various constituent areas in the Diocese of Salford. They are: Bury, Bolton, Blackburn & Darwen, Lancashire, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale and Calderdale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford, Special Education & the Diocesan Department for Formation, Office for Education
The Primary Partnership Committee has two representatives from each area and meets once per half term to discuss its established 'Business Agenda'. A representative from the he Office for Education team attends each meeting.
Further information contact:
Dennis Harrison BEd (Chair) Head Teacher Guardian Angels RC Primary School, Bury 0161 764 4014;
Diane Bohan BEd MSc (Vice-Chair) St Teresa's RC Primary School, Bolton 01204 333163:
Andrew Sowerby (Secretary) Office for Education, Diocese of Salford 0161 817 2204