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This year seems to have  gone so fast!

Just shy of 23,000 business miles on the clock, 15 Section 48 and 15 Section 5 inspections, 9 new Headteacher appointments and 6 Head teacher retirements / resignations, the formation of the Diocese first multi academy trusts, with plans moving forward that could potentially see  over 50% of all Diocesan schools becoming academies within the next twelve months, brokerage of our first ‘Executive Head’ positions spanning two or more schools and the first designation of Diocesan schools as teaching school, this has been quite a year in shaping the future direction of Catholic education in the Diocese of Middlesbrough.

The only thing we can be certain of is that the pace of change is not going to slow down with a new national curriculums in both Primary and Secondary schools, further radical changes to how school performance is to be measured, Ofsted reform and sadly an election when the really daft ideas for reforming schools start to be spouted to gain the approval of the electorate, 2014/15 will bring many new challenges.

This is why it is essential at this time of year we draw breath, remind ourselves of the reason we work in and support Catholic education, take some quality time to recharge our batteries and get ready and excited for the start of the new academic year and the opportunities that lie ahead.

I listened to Bishop Terence Patrick address the candidates who recently completed the Nurturing Future Leaders training event. The Bishop warmly thanked them for the commitment to Catholic education explaining their role in the wider Mission of the church. He spoke passionately about just how highly in the Diocesan priorities he places the role played by our schools in helping him to meet his obligations as first educator for the Diocese. He explains he prays for our schools every morning and how we must never lose sight that those who work in and support our schools have received a special calling as they have received a special calling from God. When things are frantic, when change seems to be endless and potentially overwhelming the Bishop’s reminds us God is at our side to provide the support and direction we will need in spreading the Good News.

As always I finish by saying how immensely proud I am to be Director of Schools for the Diocese of Middlesbrough, a Diocese where the quality, passion and commitment of our schools shines like a beacon of hope for the future. The Schools’ Service is extremely grateful to all who work in and support our schools, too many to mention but who serve our schools with energy and enthusiasm driven by the Holy Spirit

Have a peaceful and relaxing summer

Kevin Duffy – Director of Schools        



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