Bishops have extensive obligations and rights in relation to Catholic schooling in order to ensure the Catholic ethos and character of any school in the Diocese. In Arundel and Brighton, the Bishop's obligations and rights (see the section on Catholic Education, Trust Deed and Canon Law) are carried out through the Diocesan Education Service.
The task of Catholic education is formation, mission and service. Catholic schools fulfil their mission by offering opportunities to engage in dialogue with others in a spirit of collaboration, so that students can come to a deeper understanding of themselves, others and God, and find meaning and purpose in their lives. It is the mission and privilege of the Diocesan Education Service to lead and serve schools in their evangelising and educational ministry.
The diocesan Education Service aims to provide professional support to the schools of the Diocese through:
- the provision of quality information, training, advice and guidance to Headteachers, Governors, Clergy and Parents.
- working closely with Headteachers, Governors and Academy Trusts to develop policies and services that reflect schools' real needs.
- maintaining effective partnerships with other dioceses, the CES and Local Authorities.
- helping schools to recruit and retain Senior Leaders, Teachers and Governors.
- helping schools to monitor and develop their Religious Education provision.
- supporting schools in difficulty.
- supporting newly appointed Headteachers by induction and mentoring.
- providing a 'Catholic School Inspection’ inspection service.
- encouraging productive collaboration between schools, parishes and diocesan agencies.
Placing Christ at the centre and empowered by the Spirit, we lead, guide, serve and support our family of schools in the name of the Bishop. Inspired by the Gospel, we endeavour to be the visible face of Christ, leading and serving in partnership with all members of our school communities: children, staff, governors, parents and clergy. Empowered by the Spirit, we aspire to be the best we can, promoting the common good and securing the long-term future of Catholic education.
The Strategic Development Plan 2023-2026 is informed by Canon Law, 'The Word Who is Life' the Bishop’s vision statement, diocesan protocols, (September 2023) and Appendix 1 Provision of Essential Diocesan Functions. It sets our objectives across seven key areas for the next three years, with an impact review at the end of each academic year. This plan frames the performance management objectives of each member of the Education Service. It is linked to our Mission Prayer and is underpinned by the principle that 'with Christ at the centre, we lead and serve in partnership to secure the long-term future of Catholic education.'
The Diocesan Education Service is committed to offering our seventy-seven academies, voluntary aided, independent and specialist schools the most effective guidance, leadership, advice, support, and challenge. We are committed to supporting schools to offer rich, faith-filled, deep, and varied learning experiences that support the development of the whole child. We aim to assist schools to build teaching and learning in communities of professionals who increasingly share system responsibility for school improvement and for achieving the best outcome for our students. We are committed to monitoring our progress towards our strategic objectives and to improving organisational performance.
Both the Bishop and Trustees are fully committed to ensuring the best possible education provision across the Diocese (The Word who is Life, 2018. 4: 75). With this in mind, on behalf of the Bishop and Trustees, the Diocesan Education Committee provides a vehicle for collective planning, advice and decision-making in conjunction with the Diocesan Education Service and in relation to schools and academies.
The membership of the Committee reflects a broad range of interests, including those of Headteachers in academies, maintained and independent schools, Governors and Clergy, alongside the Bishop, a Trustee and Diocesan Staff within and beyond the Education Service.