Education Sunday this year falls on Sunday 27th January and offers an opportunity for schools and parishes to work together to promote Catholic education in their community.

The relationship between parish and Catholic school has been central in preserving the Catholic ethos of the education. Following the re-establishment of the Catholic hierarchy in 1850 the building of schools was often prioritised over the building of Churches, a clear indication of the Church’s commitment to education and its role in the formation and development of the whole person. These schools were often used as the main place of worship with the whole Catholic community gathering together to support each other. 

There remain many opportunities throughout the year for schools and parishes to come together to celebrate the faith and ensure the longevity and strength of Catholic education, but Education Sunday shines a spotlight on schools. 

This is an opportunity, first of all, for parishioners to give financial, spiritual, practical and political support to our Catholic schools. There is a collection for Catholic education on the Sunday, and worship resources including homily notes and prayers are available from

But Education Sunday is also an opportunity for schools, their staff and pupils, to share their work, learning and experiences of Catholic education with parishes. 

There are many other ways in which all Catholics can get involved in Catholic education from supporting school fundraising events to becoming a school governor. 

In the ever changing education agenda, there is often need for parish support at a local political level. School transport remains a key issue in many areas with local authorities cutting provision, a move that disproportionately affects Catholic schools which have larger than average catchment areas. To find out more about home to school transport and how you can campaign in your local areas see

Free Schools Meals is another policy area which especially affects Catholic schools given our primary concern for the poor. The annual census data collected from all Catholic schools in England and Wales show that 20% of pupils at Catholic secondary schools in England live in the most deprived areas compared with 17% nationally. Free school meals are available to children from the lowest income families. They provide a hot meal at lunch which is important in providing both health and education benefits to the child and reducing financial burdens on the child’s family.

The CES remains concerned about the low take-up of Free School Meals in Catholic schools. Research from The Children Society show that of 1.5 million children in England who meet the eligibility criteria for Free School Meals, around 200,000 are not registered, and of those registered, a further 300,000 do not eat the meal. In addition to the health, educational and financial benefits to the child and their families, this also had a direct impact on the schools themselves. Changes in funding arrangements also mean that schools receive addition funding (£500 per pupil) based upon the number of children receiving Free School Meals.

The CES will be running a campaign this year to increase the take up of Free School Meals in Catholic schools and will be encouraging schools, parents and parishioners to spread the word on the role that Free School Meals have in ensuring the healthy development of children. Full details on how to claim Free School Meals and who is eligible can be found at

The CES together with CSAN (Caritas Social Action Network) are also supporting The Children Society’s Fair and Square campaign, who are petitioning the government for all children living in poverty to receive Free School Meals. To find out more about the campaign see

Education Sunday also remains an opportunity to thanks those in parishes and staff in schools whose work ensure high standards of Catholic Education we have in schools today.

Thursday, 14 February 2013 15:02

Religious Studies Teachers’ Conference

Wednesday 3rd – Friday 5th April

St John’s College, Durham

All Religious Studies / Theology / Philosophy of Religion teachers in secondary schools and colleges across the UK are welcome to register to attend.  

The free conference package will include:

•         engaging presentations on cutting-edge issues delivered by world-leading researchers and academics; 

•         formal and informal networking opportunities; 

•         a forum for sharing ideas about teaching and supporting your students; 

•         accurate and up-to-date admissions information so you can advise and support your students; 

•         all meals, refreshments, overnight accommodation for two evenings, and light entertainment. 


Registration is now open!  Due to the high volume of interest it is recommended that you book early to avoid disappointment.  


Find out more  

Book online  

Visit the teachers’ conferences website


For more information, please contact the conference team: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


The Future Leaders programme is a fully funded leadership development programme for teachers who have the talent to become headteachers of challenging primary schools within two years through the belief every child can achieve, regardless of background. The attainment gap starts early and this needs to be addressed from the earliest possible moment, with our six year track record of training senior leaders in challenging secondary schools for 2013 we are expanding our flagship programme to include primary. It provides participants with the training and support to lead schools and make a measurable impact on the lives of children from disadvantaged backgrounds.

This year they are recruiting 25 committed and inspiring leaders from primary schools in London to join Cohort ’13 to start their individual journeys to headship. 

Through on-going expert training, coaching and a network of advice from talented senior leaders, the Future Leaders programme gives participants the support, skills and strategies to lead challenging schools and to make measurable impact on the lives of children from disadvantaged backgrounds. 

Applicants should be qualified current or former teachers who have worked in a school in the last five years, with at least two years' proven management experience. See eligibility criteria


Benefits include:

•17 days of residential facilitated training (prior to the start of the school year) 

•Remain in your current school (participating schools must meet our criteria)

•Bespoke career support as you progress to headship 

•On-going coaching with a dedicated, experienced headteacher

•Frequent training from leading practitioners 

•A social and online network providing tailored support and best practice

•Visit exemplary schools across England


More information can be found on the Future Leaders website and in the materials below.  


You are invited to learn more about our leadership development programme, meet current participants and to meet like-minded peers at one of our information and networking evenings in London. 

Thursday 14th March: 6.00 to 7.30pm – Future Leaders Assessment Centre, Unit 2 Bridge Wharf, 156 Caledonian Road, London, N1 9UU

A second date is currently being scheduled; please check our website for the latest information.


To RSVP please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  


For more information, to apply, or to nominate someone from your school, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call us on 0800 009 4142 (open Monday - Friday, 8.30am - 6pm).

Applications close: 19th March 2013



Training to teach Religious Education in 2013:

Candidates can train to teach Religious Education (RE) through a PGCE course in 28 universities in England, 2 in Wales and 2 in Scotland. Although the government no longer provides a bursary for RE, there are other sources of support. For 2013-14, trainees in secondary RE could be eligible to apply to one of the Church College Trusts for a grant towards course expenses or living expenses. Candidates can check for details of the trusts and foundations to which they can apply. 

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