The Office for Education offers advice and support on educational matters to the Bishop and to our 216 Catholic schools, educating a total of 54,236 pupils. There are 171 primary schools, 32 secondary schools, 4 sixth-form colleges, 1 special school and 8 independent schools in the diocese.
Our staff give advice and support for catechesis, administration, appointment of staff and governors. They provide a liaison with the Catholic Education Service, other dioceses, central government and local authorities. The Office also provides a ‘Preparation for Leadership’ programme for teachers who are preparing for senior management positions in the schools of the diocese and beyond. The Office works in close partnership with the fourteen local authorities in the diocese so as to provide a credible network of Catholic schools for our Catholic children and their parents.
The Office produces materials for use in parishes for the sacramental programme and can provide training and support for clergy and catechists.
We also provide adult formation in the diocese through the Maryvale Institute and local courses organised by the Office itself. This ranges from the ‘Echoes’ course in basic catechesis to degree courses in theology and catechesis. The Catholic Certificate in Religious Studies (CCRS) attracts over 100 participants each year, mainly newly-qualified teachers, but this is now being offered to non-teachers as well. We also work in collaboration with the Department and Office for Evangelisation in providing adult formation courses in the diocese.