From the Secretariat of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales
A spokesperson for the Secretariat of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales said:
“During their plenary meeting, the Bishops of England and Wales reaffirmed their commitment to continue to work together with the Government and Local Authorities to support Catholic education and to serve the common good.
The Bishops learned of the announcement made that same week by the Secretary of State for Education that the Government intends to widen the terms of its policy of encouraging schools in England to apply for academy status.
The Bishops applauded the diligent work of its agency, the Catholic Education Service of England and Wales (CESEW), in the significant progress it has made towards securing the Catholic ethos of any schools that may consider becoming academies.
This progress had been made possible by the CESEW’s close work with diocesan officers, government ministers, Department for Education officers and the assistance of external solicitors (made possible by government funding).
The approval of the Bishop and his diocesan trustees will be required for any change to Academy status for Catholic schools operating under diocesan Trust Deeds within English dioceses. The Bishops have asked the CESEW to continue to advise them as they consider further the detailed implications for the Catholic education sector of the government’s Academy policy”.