Are you looking for a way to live out your faith and serve your local community at the same time?
On 10 September Catholics across England and Wales will give thanks for Catholic schools, colleges and universities, and all those who have found their vocation in Catholic education.
Since the 19th century the Catholic Church has become the country’s largest provider of secondary schools and second-largest of primary schools, along with four universities – but now they need your help.
Educational institutions are generally governed by a body made up of different types of representatives, such as parent governors and teacher governors.
Catholic schools and universities also include foundation governors, who volunteer to ensure the Catholic vision and character of the school is upheld. Appointed on behalf of the Bishop, foundation governors should always form a majority.
Since the pandemic Catholic educational institutions have experienced vacancies for foundation governors, and more are needed to sustain their Catholic ethos and leadership.
Paul Barber, Catholic Education Service Director, said: “As throughout history, Catholics must be prepared to support, promote and defend Catholic education.
“Practising Catholics could make excellent foundation governors, or know someone who might be interested, so please find out about getting involved by contacting your diocese.”
Foundation governors come from all walks of life, bringing a mix of skills, knowledge and experience. Catholic school pupils in England and in Wales are from significantly more diverse ethnic minority backgrounds than the state sector, and governing bodies should reflect this.
The main role of a governing body is at a strategic level, holding leadership to account; overseeing financial performance and setting the budget; managing admissions criteria; and being involved in recruiting to the most senior roles.
Being a foundation governor involves attending on average three full governing body meetings per year as well as serving on a committee focusing on issues such as staff pay, or admissions. Free training is provided by the diocese.
The 2,175 schools, colleges and academies in England and Wales continue to be true to their mission, by educating more pupils from the most deprived backgrounds, and also outperform national GCSE English, Maths and Religious Education averages.
Foundation governors are also needed for Catholic higher education, at Leeds Trinity, Liverpool Hope, Newman and St Mary’s universities.