I hope all is well with you. For those looking ahead to their October half term break, have a wonderful time. Enjoy everything autumn brings and return refreshed and rested. Don’t forget that the clocks ‘fall’ back on Sunday 30th October, so we will gain one hour as summertime ends. Treasure that precious extra time.

I would like to start with some exciting news: I am delighted to say that St Patrick’s Bircotes has been successfully approved by the DfE Advisory Board and will receive their Academy Orders for conversion. This means the statutory TUPE transfer consultation can now begin between the School Governing staff at St Patrick’s and local/regional TU representatives.



Continuing to celebrate success, please can I also encourage you to take a moment to review the Good Ofsted reports now published for Our Lady of Mount Carmel (alongside their outstanding Section 148 report 50195813 (ofsted.gov.uk)); and if you have not seen it yet, St Mary’s Maltby’s report too – all good! It was so lovely to see their fence banner celebrating this when visiting school recently.


Vacancy Filling

For those looking for new roles, please be aware of the vacancy information now on the Trust website for example including Foundation Governor vacancies in St Joseph’s Rossington; and TA and Teacher vacancies at St Peter’s. The Trust has also re-advertised the Trust CFO position (CFO and Company Secretary – St Francis Catholic Multi Academy Trust (CMAT) job with SATIS EDUCATION LTD | 8291933 (theguardian.com) with a closing date of 26 Wednesday 26 October. Interviews and assessments will be held Wednesday 2nd November.


St Clare CMAT

Personal congratulations go out to St Clare, our Sister CMAT’s new permanent CEO Steve Davies. It has been a complete privilege to have worked with and alongside Steve as together we set up St Clare and St Francis in our respective interim CEO roles. I know you all will join me in wishing him many congratulations.


Dates for your diary

Chairs and Local Academy Committee/ Governing Body and Board Members please hold Tuesday 15 November 6-7pm in your diaries. Martin Mc Donagh, St Francis Trust Chair would like to invite you to the next Chairs Forum meeting to encourage new Board and Local Academy Committee Members to come forward to serve.


Early Careers Teachers (ECTs)

Date coming soon – all St Francis CMAT Trust Early Careers Teachers will be invited to the Hallam Pastoral Centre, St Charles St, Attercliffe, S9 3WU for a Trust meet and greet networking event over afternoon tea. Please email abray@hallam-diocese.com with your contact details, training provider and any dietary requirements. We hope to welcome a guest speaker and to plan future sessions. If colleagues have the opportunity network in advance via car sharing, please do so to try to reduce our carbon footprint. The date and further information will be sent to you directly.


Training, Resources and Visits

Cyber Security – From September Bulletin in case you missed it

A reminder that schools in the Risk Protection Arrangement (RPA) will need to complete their Cyber Training as soon as. Cyber security training for school staff – NCSC.GOV.UK



Several of our schools were privileged to visit either St Marie’s Cathedral in Sheffield and St Peter in Chains to see the relics of St Bernadette. Just down the road from St Peter in Chains, Danum Museum in Doncaster has lots on during half term https://www.dglam.org.uk/whats-on/ For those visiting Sheffield during half term there is a beautiful display of Doves of Peace (free entry) in Sheffield CofE Cathedral too.


Mental Health Day

Many will be aware that 10/10 was Mental Health Day. We have an open offer of mental health training at a discounted rate (10 places) led by Stella Groarke. Please email abray@hallam-diocese.com if you/colleagues are interested. When looking after matters of mental health, DfE shared various 10/10 resources, for pupils and staff on their website. A few are copied here in case you missed them. Wellbeing matters every day, not just on 10 October – please take care of you and yours.


Education staff wellbeing charter

• Co-created with the sector, the Education Staff Wellbeing Charter sets out shared commitments to promote, protect and enhance the wellbeing of staff. The charter can be used to create your school’s wellbeing strategy.

• Watch videos featuring staff from Bedford Academy explaining how they have used the charter to embed wellbeing at the heart of the school or read their blog with top tips.


Funded support for school leaders

• School leaders, including assistant heads, can access free one-to-one counselling, one-to-one supervision, and peer support through a funded scheme delivered by the Education Support charity. This support is now available to schools who also have access to a separate employee assistance programme.


Senior mental health lead training

• Senior mental health lead training helps embed a whole school or college approach to support wellbeing and help pupils and staff speak more openly about mental health. You can reserve a £1,200 grant for this mental health lead training


Reducing staff workload

• Developed with school leaders, the school workload reduction toolkit includes practical resources to help schools identify and address workload issues, as well as evaluating the impact of any steps you’ve taken.

• Oak National Academy have shared their plans to keep supporting teachers. You’ll continue to be able to access their videos and resources. In the coming years they’ll grow their support for lesson planning for in-class delivery and curriculum advice and inspiration.