The Department for Schools, 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.