Letters extra: Catholic conundrum

16th May 2003 at 01:00
It is with little surprise but much frustration that I have just read of the difficulties in recruiting heads and deputies in Roman Catholic Schools.

I am a practising Roman Catholic who was educated in Catholic primary and secondary schools and attended a Catholic College of Education from which I obtained a Catholic Teacher's Certificate (RE qualification) in addition to my teaching qualification. To date, I have taught in non-catholic primary schools and have gained a wide range of experience and professional development, culminating in the recent award of NPQH via the 'fast track' route.

I am currently applying for headships but, unfortunately, I am not "allowed" to be head of a Catholic School. I was advised of this 'ban' by the then Birmingham Diocesan director of education, who informed me (when I was applying for deputy headship in Catholic schools) that in spite of the excellence of my application, experience and qualifications, the fact that I had never taught in a Catholic school was an incontrovertible contra-indication. I was sorely aggrieved and tested the water again recently when I applied for two headships. The situation remains unchanged. I am not a 'fair weather' catholic - I am a committed and active member of my parish, well-known to my parish priest. Perhaps things would be different if I were a divorcee, or even a non-practising catholic already in the catholic school sector (yes, there are quite a few!). I recently sent for details of the headship of a local Jewish school and, ironically, its governing body would "warmly welcome" my application.

I read with interest that in some cases diocesan authorities are appointing non-Catholic heads to work under the guidance of neighbouring Catholic heads! Are two heads really better than one? The Catholic education Service must get its act together before it's labelled as the Janus of the current recruitment crisis.

Maureen Hinckley
Birmingham

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now