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Catholic teachers say pressure on staff needs to be lifted

The Catholic Union’s latest webinar has shone a light on some of the opportunities and challenges facing Catholic schools today.

The event, which featured contributions from education experts and a live audience of over 70 people, highlighted that staffing pressures were amongst some of the greatest challenges facing Catholic schools.

Dr Maureen Glackin from the Catholic Independent Schools’ Conference, Craig Ross from the Tiffin School, Sr Judith Ross who is Director of EdcareM, and Julie-Anne Tallon who is Director of the Catholic Primary Partnership all spoke as part of the online event.

They were joined by Professor John Lydon from St Mary’s University and Paul Barber, Director of the Catholic Education Service.

Most of the speakers agreed that finding good people to fill school vacancies was becoming increasingly difficult and stressed that on-going formation across all levels was needed along with better pay and conditions.

Several of the teachers on the panel also highlighted the unnecessary stress and anxiety caused by the current Ofsted inspection process, and the concern that the regulator did not properly understand or appreciate Catholic education.

There were also calls for the 50 per cent cap on faith-based admissions to new free schools and academies to be lifted to ease pressure on existing Catholic schools, especially in areas of high migration. The Catholic Union will be making this one of our major campaigns for the year ahead.