Why Have Catholic Schools and Colleges?

Giving Children the Best Start in Life

The Church has always promoted education. God made the world, and everything and everybody in it; and the more we understand the world, its history, and our place in it as human beings, the better equipped we are to increase our faith and hope in God, our love for God and our neighbour, and our love for the Church on earth, in and through which God invites us all to come to know, love and serve him.

As the Catechism says, “Parents are the principal and first educators of their children”. So all schools exist to help parents to fulfil this duty and privilege of providing education. A short answer to the question “Why have Catholic schools and colleges?” is, “So that Catholic parents can have the best opportunities for enabling their children to grow to responsible adulthood in the knowledge and love of God and neighbour”, or putting it another way, “the best opportunities for helping their children to develop a deeply-rooted and fully mature Catholic faith and life”.

This means that the schools and colleges must be good schools and colleges – they must do their best to provide competent or even excellent teaching through a full and well-balanced curriculum, in a good atmosphere which encourages achievement. And they must be Catholic schools and colleges: not in theory or in name only, but by way of a readiness to promote understanding of and commitment to the fullness of Catholic truth and sacramental life, even in the face of the increasing rejection of Catholic values (which are truly human values, to be embraced by everybody, not only Catholics) by people with power and influence in today’s world.

It is a great blessing that there are many Catholic schools and colleges in England and Wales. The majority of these schools are “maintained schools” and most are classed as voluntary aided schools which since 1944 have been able to provide education for Catholic pupils and other pupils without school fees, as all the recurring expenses of the schools are paid by Government.

The Diocese of Shrewsbury is determined that all the Catholic maintained schools for which it is responsible as Trustee will be and will remain truly worthy of the description “Catholic”.