Parent Council Faith Sub-group of St Thomas of Aquin’s School
Background and Purpose
During 2015-16 members of the Parent Council raised questions about what it means to be a Roman Catholic (RC) school in Scotland. Parents wanted deeper understanding about a range of issues including: how Roman Catholicism is taught; how diversity in the student body is recognised and embraced; how RC identity impacts on school governance; and how parents can partner with the school to educate their children in matters of faith. Parents were keen to understand how much discretion is given to the Local Authority, the School and the Church in operational and programmatic elements of RC school life.
The chair of Parent Council sought self-nominations from the parent body to form a faith sub-group, and the group was approved by the Parent Council. The purpose of the sub-group was to answer the following 5 questions about RC school identity, and to make recommendations:
- What are the mandatesfrom the Catholic Church and the State?
- What differences, if any, are there in the curriculum and REteaching?
- What are unique features in relation to the delivery of pastoral care?
- What governancearrangements are there regarding employment of teachers and the roles of the parent council and chaplaincy team?
- How should parentssupport the vision of Catholic schools?
Members of the faith sub-group
Simon Armstrong, James Boardman, Denise Simpson (chair), Joanne Thin.
Students, staff, and current / prospective parents of young people at St Thomas Of Aquin’s High School.
The report of the sub-group draws on information from:
Education (Scotland) Act
Scottish Catholic Education Service
Each member of the sub-group was tasked with gathering information to answer specific questions (listed above), and the group met to discuss findings. A draft of the final report was shared with the Acting Head Teacher, and the final version was agreed by consensus.
The report will be shared by email with all members of the Parent Forum whose details are retained by the Parent Council. It is due to be discussed and approved at the Parent Council meeting in September 2017.