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The Northampton Diocesan Office for Religious Education, Catechesis and Schools.


News & Stories

Ofsted Inspection Framework

Ofsted Inspection Framework

Ofsted are inspecting many schools at the moment, so don’t forget to familiarise yourself with the Framework document.

The education inspection framework (‘the framework’) sets out how Ofsted inspects maintained schools, academies, non-association independent schools, further education and skills provision and registered early years settings in England.

The framework has been devised by His Majesty’s Chief Inspector for use from September 2019. It sets out the principles that apply to inspection, and the main judgements that inspectors make when carrying out inspections of maintained schools, academies, non-association independent schools, further education and skills providers and registered early years settings in England.

You can find the Framework document here.

RSE Training for Catholic Schools

RSE Training for Catholic Schools

The Catholic Education Service is pleased  to present this new RSHE E-Learning Course. This online training programme for teachers has been developed by the Catholic Education Service with Ten Ten Resources and in conjunction with the Department for Education.

The training and the model curriculum are deeply rooted in, and faithful to, the Catholic Church’s vision of the human person as created in the image and likeness of God and the truth and meaning of human sexuality. The content of the curriculum is based upon the God-given dignity of each and every pupil and through an understanding of the Virtues teaches our children and young people to make healthy choices that will benefit them for the rest of their lives.

Click the link for all the details.Ten Ten E-Learning Platform – Relationships, Sex and Health Education (

School Admissions Appeal Code Changes

School Admissions Appeal Code Changes

The draft school admission appeals code 2022 (which has been corrected), remains provisional until it completes the Parliamentary process. It is expected to come into force from 1 October 2022, subject to Parliamentary approval. The DfE will also update the non-statutory advice on school admission appeals at this time.

The current school admission appeals code (2012) remains in force until the draft appeals code 2022 is approved. Admission appeals lodged on or before 30 September 2022 must follow the current appeals code 2012.

Details of the Appeals Code can be found here: School admission appeals code – GOV.UK (

Catholic Schools in the Mission of the Church

Catholic Schools in the Mission of the Church

The Vatican have recently published a more in-depth and up-to-date reflection and guidelines on the value of the Catholic identity of educational institutions in the Church, so as to provide a set of criteria responding to the challenges of our times, in continuity with the criteria that always apply. Moreover, as Pope Francis said, “We cannot create a culture of dialogue if we do not have identity”.

The Congregation for Catholic Education hopes that this contribution will be welcomed as an opportunity to reflect and deepen our understanding of this important topic which concerns the very essence and raison d’être of the Church’s historical presence in the field of education and schooling, in obedience to her mission to proclaim the Gospel by teaching all nations (cf. Mt 28:19-20).

Click on the link to read the full text:  Catholic Schools Vatican March 2022

Success at St Margaret of Scotland Primary

Success at St Margaret of Scotland Primary

Luton primary school, St Margaret of Scotland were thrilled to report the outcome of their recent Ofsted inspection.  Inspectors visited the school in February 2022 and judged it to be Good with Outstanding features.  The report highlights how proud pupils are to be part of the school and how they feel cared for and nurtured.  Leaders and teachers were also praised for the strength of the curriculum and teaching in the classrooms.  A copy of the report can be viewed on the Ofsted website here

Inspectors were particularly impressed with how the school nurtures the pupils personal development “Leaders’ work to promote pupils’ personal development is exceptional. Pupils are caring, kind and know right from wrong. They know why it is important to respect others’ views. Pupils learn about and participate in the life of the local community. They support local charities and multi-faith events. A carefully planned programme of trips and activities is available for all pupils. This helps to open pupils’ eyes to new opportunities, and helps them to develop new interests and ambitions.”   Chair of Governors, Debbie Main said “This judgements is well deserved and down to the commitment of the staff team and the hard work of everyone involved with the school, governors are very proud of the schools achievements.”  

St Bernadette’s relics to travel to Northampton Cathedral

St Bernadette’s relics to travel to Northampton Cathedral

The relics of Saint Bernadette will travel from the Upper Basilica in Lourdes to every Catholic Cathedral in the UK in 2022.

The Catholic Bishops Conference have announced that each dioceses will host the relics, a bone from her thigh, for two days on a yet to be announced date next year. 

The remains of Saint Bernadette are preserved in a shrine in the town of Nevers, 700 kilometers north of Lourdes. Bernadette joined a convent in Nevers in 1880 to escape the attention of pilgrims. 

Canon Christopher Thomas, the general secretary of the CBCEW, made the announcement at the end of the bishops plenary meeting last week, the first face to face meeting of bishops conference since the pandemic. He likened it to the visit of the relics of Saint Thèrése of Lisieux to Britain in 2009. 

The invitation to host the relics was issued by the Shrine of Lourdes to the Bishops of England and Wales and will “remind British Catholics of the importance of pilgrimage in our lives” Canon Thomas continued. 

Thousands of Catholics from across the UK visit Lourdes on pilgrimage every year. In our diocese we travel with the Catholic Association in August. The sick and all those seeking healing are central to the majority of pilgrimages to Lourdes and it is hoped that this will be the case here in our own diocese. 




Our diocese has joined the National Schools Singing Program. Having successfully been awarded the first year of seed funding offered by the Hamish Ogston Foundation and the National Schools Singing Programme, our diocese will now be seeking a Choral Director to lead the program.Initiated in the Diocese of Leeds, the NSSP aims to fund and support engagement with diverse communities offering a route into choral  and church music.

The National Schools Singing Programme is for all Catholic dioceses in the UK to create or enhance their own music programmes for children educated in Catholic state schools.

Working with schools to develop a culture of choral and church music, especially targeting those of most need, it is hoped that alongside the benefit to our catholic communities, the program will see improvements in the literacy, numeracy and teamwork skills aswell as building an ever closer relationship in faith with Jesus Christ.

Welcoming the announcement Bishop David said

“It is such good news to hear that the Diocese of Northampton is joining other dioceses in the National Schools Singing Programme. This will provide so many opportunities for our young people to grow in confidence and character. It will also build a strong and vibrant liturgical tradition in our Cathedral and elsewhere. When we joyfully sing to the Lord, it enables us to share the Good News of God’s Kingdom amongst us with each other, and to pass on the tradition of faith we have received to the next generation of disciples. Let us sing to the Lord a new song!”

The foundation of the Schools Singing Programme rests on a network of after-school choirs that support parish and cathedral liturgies. As well as enhancing the in-school experience of musical education, the programme engages the wider community with concerts and performances that all can enjoy.

Director Recruitment

Director Recruitment

Bishop David is currently looking for several Foundation Directors to provide strategic management and oversight of Our Lady Immaculate Catholic Academies Trust (OLICAT)

The leaders, governors and directors of our Catholic schools are central to ensuring that the spiritual and academic life is the best it can be. Helping them and supporting more people to take on these roles is crucial for the future of Catholic education in our diocese. If you have specific skills outlined below, we would be delighted to hear from you.

We need people who, in the midst of all changes to education policy, will keep Christ at the centre of everything they do. I would like you to consider whether you are someone who could serve our children as they grow in faith by volunteering as a Director of Our Lady Immaculate Catholic Academies Trust in the North of the Diocese.

Our Lady Immaculate Catholic Academies trust (OLICAT) currently comprises of the Catholic academies in Bedford, Northampton, Kettering and Corby. It is Bishop David’s expectation that all diocesan Catholic schools will join one of the new Diocesan MATs in time.

We are looking to appoint practicing Catholics with a variety of skills and experience including the following:

• Human Resources/People Management
• Education/Public Service
• Business skills
• Catholic Life/Formation

Trust meetings are likely to be termly, and take place in the evening, currently held virtually, though Directors may be required to visit academies during the school day and attend training sessions held across the Diocese. A priest’s reference will be sought for all candidates.

For further details and an application pack please contact Debbie Main via 

mark your diary

future events

June 2023

mon05jun10:00 PMmon12:00 PMCSI Inspectors Network Meeting10:00 PM - 12:00 PM

fri23jun10:00 AMfri3:00 PMChaplaincy & RE Conference10:00 AM - 3:00 PM

November 2023

thu16nov(nov 16)9:00 AMfri17(nov 17)2:00 PMDeputy Headteachers Conference 20239:00 AM - 2:00 PM (17)