Newly Qualified Teachers

Teaching is Part of Our Mission

The Bishops of England and Wales have always emphasised the key role which the Catholic school has to play in the mission of the Church.

The goal of the Bishops has always been, wherever possible, to provide a place in a Catholic school for every Catholic child. Often when new parishes were established the building of a (primary) school was given a greater priority than the building of the parish church. This important role to be played by the Catholic school is underlined in Canon Law:

“Among the means of advancing education, Christ’s faithful are to consider schools as of great importance, since they are the principal means of helping parents to fulfil their role in education” (Canon 796, paragraph 1).

The value of you as a teacher, as exemplar or role model to the pupil, cannot be over emphasised.

“The calibre of the teacher and the use made of each teacher’s capabilities and skills will ultimately determine the quality of education offered to the children. Teaching is one of the most fundamental of all vocations” (Cardinal Basil Hume).

Your development as a teacher in the service of the Catholic community as a whole, and in particular within your school, is part of that vocation. The use and development of your professional skills are central to this process and are the shared responsibility of yourself and the school. Whilst some competencies are generic requirements for good teaching, it must be recognised that the unique mission and purpose of the Catholic school bring with them specific requirements and responsibilities that require the school’s support.

In best practice, Catholic schools have always been able to explain and demonstrate their distinctive nature. However, recent Education Acts have brought change to, for example, curriculum, funding, admission of pupils, staff development and inspection. These changes challenge all our schools to make clear their nature and purpose to pupils, parents, governors and staff. In responding to this challenge, evidence of the school’s mission statement in action has proved essential. However, if staff are to be equipped to fulfil their “prime responsibility for creating this unique Christian school” (Sacred Congregation, 26) then it is necessary for those new to the school to receive help and guidance on the school in its particular circumstances, the values that it expects to see promoted and the policies and strategies it uses.

The responsibility for teaching staff and their development lies with the school and the governing body supported by the Local Authority and Diocese so what can I expect from a Catholic school in the Diocese of Shrewsbury?

Before taking up the appointment the following should be made available to you:

•an opportunity to visit the school to meet the headteacher and staff and to see the school in action;

•information relating to the school providing details about organisation, staffing etc;

•an outline of the post you may be accepting;

•information about support available to you.

After taking up the appointment the headteacher should nominate a senior member of staff who will be responsible for:

•your general progress and welfare;

•liaising with advisers concerning your progress and welfare;

•arranging a programme of support and supervision within the school.

As part of your induction programme you should be able:

•to be given guidance on how to teach the values and beliefs of our faith;

•to seek help and guidance from a nominated member of staff;

•to observe experienced colleagues teaching;

•to visit other schools if this is possible;

•to have discussions with other probationers, and

•to attend any meetings of newly qualified teachers organised by the Local Authority or Diocese.

In a Catholic school the following will be integrated into the induction standards:

•The distinctive nature of the Catholic school;

•Provision for spiritual and moral development across the curriculum;

•Curriculum religious education in the Catholic school;

•Worship in the Catholic school;

•The teaching of the Catholic Church.