Catholic Academies and Schools Office

The Catholic Academies and Schools Office, led by the Director of Schools, ensures on behalf of the Bishop (cf. CIC 803.1) that all the Catholic schools of our Diocese (independent, maintained voluntary aided and maintained academies) operate as ‘Catholic schools’ in accordance with both canon and civil law. Schools and parishes are the two principle agencies of the mission of the Church in our diocese and the Department seeks to develop our schools as key diocesan tools of evangelisation in union with the local parishes, pastoral areas and deaneries. It promotes and develops all aspects of the Catholic nature of our schools, providing direction and advice on educational matters. It represents the Bishop at senior leadership appointments and administers the appointment of foundation governors and directors. It advises and supports governing bodies on their canonical, statutory and legal responsibilities as maintained voluntary aided schools, maintained academies and independent schools. The Department promotes excellence in Catholic education in all diocesan schools, especially in religious education, collective worship and religious education resources, all of which are at the heart of the curriculum and purpose of a Catholic school. The Department is also responsible for the canonical and statutory inspections that take place, advising the Bishop on the quality of our schools.


“Teach me your way, O Lord; I will walk in Your truth”

(Psalm 86:11)



Mission Statement of the Catholic Academies and Schools Office

“I have come that they may have life and have it to the full” (John 10.10)


The church exists in order to evangelise.  In order to carry out this mission, Bishop Philip has re-established the pastoral administration of the Diocese of Portsmouth as ‘The Framework for Collaboration’ (the ‘Framework’).  The Framework mirrors the threefold ministry of the Bishop who acts in the name of Our Lord Jesus Christ as the Priest, Prophet and King.  Practically this has led to three Vicariates within the Framework: Vocation, Education and Evangelisation.  These Vicariates represent three dynamically interrelated strands of Christian discipleship: call, formation and mission.  The call of Christ invites the disciple to formation in Christian doctrine, life and spirituality, and in turn sends him or her out on mission.


The Department for Schools and the family of Catholic schools within the diocese fit into the diocesan Framework for Collaboration as an integral part of the Church’s mission.  “The Church is absolutely convinced that the educational aims of the Catholic school in the world of today perform an essential and unique service for the Church herself” (The Catholic School, Sacred Congregation for Catholic Education).  The Department for Schools and each school are called to work in collaboration with the Bishop, within the context of the Bishop’s four diocesan priorities, working towards:


  1. Seeking out and drawing in the unbelieving and un-churched.
  2. Developing lifelong discipleship, spiritual growth and a living relationship with Jesus Christ, above all in the Holy Eucharist.
  3. Discerning the gifts (charisms) and the vocations God has given to the Christian community.
  4. Forming and supporting existing and new extraordinary apostolates.


“Go and make disciples of all nations” (Matt 28:19)



We believe that education enables young people to learn more about themselves, about God and creation. The Department’s aims are:

  • To ensure that all schools are able to offer an education that develops all aspects of the human person: spiritual, emotional, physical and intellectual. 
  • To journey into a fuller understanding of their faith within a supportive Christian environment.  Every young person should have an educational experience which:
  • Encourages and recognise positive achievement.
  • Sets high standards and nurtures success.
  • Develops body, mind and spirit.
  • Provides a learning environment which is ordered and disciplined.

The key objectives of the Department for Schools, in partnership with its schools, local authorities, academy trust companies, teaching schools and alliances, other key stakeholders, are to:

  • Provide high quality on-going support, advice and training to schools on their Catholic nature and identity.
  • Promote and enhance the experience of being a community of Catholic Schools in the Diocese.
  • Engage our schools and young people in the New Evangelisation in the context of the diocesan Framework for Collaboration.
  • Engage with all agencies to maximise the opportunities afforded to the children and young people enabling them to develop and grow into responsible citizens.
  • Administer the appointment of foundation governors with appropriate skills and experience and provide training for their development.
  • Identify, develop, nurture and support high quality leadership in Catholic schools.
  • Develop structures and opportunities for schools to work collaboratively and to support each other.
  • Support school governing bodies in drawing up admission policies which reflect the mission of the diocese.
  • Challenge and support schools in achieving and maintaining academic excellence.
  • Celebrate the life and achievements of our Catholic schools.



Catholic Academies and Schools Office, St Swithun Wells House, 22 Edinburgh Road,Portsmouth, PO1 1DH
Tel: 02392 893600


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