About the conference
This conference set out afresh some of the key principles which underpin Catholic education. Michael Merrick spoke eloquently about formation of the intellect inspired by grace whilst Robert Teague focused on formation of the will, similarly inspired by grace.
It was a great opportunity for people involved in secondary education to exchange their experiences of promoting Catholic education in schools. It was an inspirational day for all who attended and provided great food for thought and future action.
At the dinner, several teachers described their personal experiences of promoting the Catholic curriculum in their schools and spoke of the successes as well as the failures in this area. Both teachers from primary and secondary schools had very valuable advice to share on successful strategies and the pitfalls to avoid when tackling this subject. One strong resolution that rang out among the teachers was to be more confident in promoting not only the Catholic curriculum but also the Catholic culture and heritage that is also very much part of the rich life of a Catholic.
Conference News Articles
Dr Noel Russell - Chair
Honorary Senior Lecturer in Economics at Manchester University
Dr Noel Russell studied at National University of Ireland (UCD and UCG) before undertaking research work at Cornell University leading to a PhD. He has been at Manchester since 1979, apart from short visits to university and government organisations in the UK, USA, Italy and Australia.
Dr Leonardo Franchi - Speaker
Dr Leonardo Franchi has been a member of the Department of Religious Education of the University of Glasgow since 2005. From 2012 until 2016 he was the inaugural Head of the St Andrew’s Foundation for Catholic Teacher Education. Dr Franchi is currently a member of the Creativity, Culture and Faith research and teaching group, specialising in Religious Education. He currently teaches on the MEduc, PGDE and MA in Religious and Philosophical Education courses. He has written extensively on Religious Education. He is the author of Shared Mission: Religious Education in the Catholic Tradition (Scepter, 2016). Along with Ronnie Convery and Raymond McCluskey, he co-authored Reclaiming the Piazza: Catholic Education as a Cultural Project (Gracewing, 2014), and edited Reclaiming the Piazza: The Catholic School as a Centre of the New Evangelisation (Gracewing, 2017). He is currently working with Richard Rymarz, Broken Bay Institute, Australia, on a new book on the preparation of teachers for Catholic schools.
Michael Merrick - Speaker
Acting Headteacher of Saint Cuthbert's Catholic Primary School, Carlisle
Michael Merrick lives in North Cumbria with his wife and six children. He works in education and has taught various subjects and ages since joining the profession in 2010. He was a contributor to the Blue Labour Book of Essays, which has sought to reclaim an authentic conservative legacy within the now liberal dominated Labour Party, and was involved with research and writing for its close kin, Red Tory. He has written for various outlets and takes an interest in the ways in which a values clash is shaping education, politics, and the character of an increasingly fraught civic space in the UK.
Robert Teague - Speaker
Headteacher of The Cedars School, Croydon
Robert Teague has been the headteacher of The Cedars school in Croydon since 2013. Before that he was Assistant Headteacher at Wallington County Grammar School and Head of Mathematics at Magdalen College School, Oxford. Robert co-wrote the Cambridge Pre-U specifications in Mathematics and Further Maths. He is a Senior Research Associate at the Thomas More Institute.