The family of Catholic schools across the Diocese of Hallam offers a Catholic, Gospel based education for children whose parents seek a genuine alternative to other good schools. These schools are communities of faith where God is recognised and named. They are rooted in the Church's concept of mission and in living out a Christian lifestyle; they present a picture of Christ to catch the imagination.
Each Catholic school in the Diocese, in partnership with home and parish, has been established to be an integral part of the local Catholic community, which shares the mission of the Church to proclaim the Gospel of Christ. The provision of this network of schools in the Diocese is primarily intended to provide a place at a Catholic school for all baptised members or catechumens of the Catholic Church.
Briefing note to all schools re: Catholic Education Service (CES) Guidance on Churches Together – May 2017
The CES recently issued the following guidance to Churches Together in England (CTE) regarding membership of their organisation and how this should be considered in relation to Admission into Catholic Schools:
Definition of children of other Christian denominations “Children of other Christian denominations” means: children who belong to other churches and ecclesial communities which, acknowledging God’s revelation in Christ, confess the Lord Jesus Christ as God and Saviour according to the Scriptures, and, in obedience to God’s will and in the power of the Holy Spirit commit themselves: to seek a deepening of their communion with Christ and with one another in the Church, which is his body; and to fulfil their mission to proclaim the Gospel by common witness and service in the world to the glory of the one God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. An ecclesial community which on principle has no credal statements in its tradition, is included if it manifests faith in Christ as witnessed to in the Scriptures and is committed to working in the spirit of the above.
All members of Churches Together in England and of CYTÛN are deemed to be included in the above definition, as are all other churches and ecclesial communities that are in membership of any local Churches Together Group (by whatever title) on the above basis.
The guidance from CTE does contain a disclaimer:
The Catholic Education Service has most helpfully advised that the criteria for church commitment should include all 'churches and ecclesial communities that are in membership of any local Churches Together Group (by whatever title)'. Download their advice but be aware that it may take time for school admissions policies to reflect it.
As a Diocese we received this information and believed that it was too late for inclusion in the 2018/19 policy, as this policy had already been determined. However, we have consulted with the LAs and the Office of the Schools’ Adjudicator and following a meeting of the Executive Committee we are now advising that the amendment should be made to the Admissions Policies for 2018/19. It is the responsibility of the Governing Body to make this amendment and we are advising that rather than seeking a formal Variation of Change from the Office of the Schools Adjudicator that it is treated as an amendment to comply with a mandatory change from a faith organisation, which provides clarity to the policy.
We recommend that the reference to Churches Together within the criteria is removed and that the above definition is added as a footnote.
The Governing Body of Notre Dame High School has reviewed the school's Admission Policy for 2018-2019 and amended the paragraph on 'Definition of other Christian Denomination' in accordance with the above advice.
The Designated Feeder Schools for Notre Dame High School at the present time the designated feeder schools are:
St Ann's Catholic Primary School
St Catherine's Catholic Primary School
St Marie's Catholic Primary School
St Mary's Catholic Primary School
St Thomas More's Catholic Primary School
Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School
St Wilfrid's Catholic Primary School – (Joint Designation)
Supporting Reference Forms (available to download below):