Bishops’ Statement on Catholic Education

The Distinctive Nature of Catholic Education

Catholic schools and colleges are established to support Catholic parents in their responsibility for the academic, physical, spiritual, moral and religious education of their children in accordance with the teachings of the Church.  Catholic education endeavours to make the person of Jesus Christ known and loved, and to place Him and the teachings of the Catholic Church at the centre of the educational enterprise.  In placing ‘Christ at the Centre’[1] , Catholic education seeks to invite all into a life of discipleship within the Body of the Church.  This means that Catholic Schools are committed to promoting:

The Search for Excellence

Christians are called to fulfil their potential and strive for excellence in all aspects of their lives.  Catholic education therefore strives to offer students every opportunity to develop their talents to the full through their academic work, spiritual worship and extracurricular activities.

The Uniqueness of the Individual

Within Catholic schools and colleges, each individual is seen as made in God’s image and loved by Him.  All students are valued and respected as individuals so that they may be helped to fulfil their unique role in creation.  It is important therefore that we provide high quality pastoral care throughout our schools and colleges in order to support the individual needs of each student.

The Education of the Whole Person

Catholic education is based on the belief that the human and the divine are inseparable.  In Catholic schools and colleges, management, organisation, academic and pastoral work, prayer and worship, all aim to prepare young people for their life as Christians in the community.

The Education of All

Their belief in the value of each individual leads Catholic schools and colleges to have the duty to care for the poor and to educate those who are socially, academically, physically or emotionally disadvantaged.  Service to those who are amongst the most disadvantaged in our society has always been central to the mission of Catholic education.

Moral Principles

Catholic education aims to offer young people the experience of life in a community founded on the Christian virtues.  In religious education in particular, the Church aims to transmit to them the Catholic faith.  Both through religious education and in the general life of the school, young people are prepared to serve as witnesses to moral and spiritual values in the wider world.

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, May 2014

[1] Christ at the Centre, Catholic Truth Society, 2nd Edition, 2012