Rahul Sharma (Editor)

Catholic Education Service

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Catholic Education Service

The Catholic Education Service (CES) is an agency of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales (CBCEW), whose object is the advancement of the Catholic religion, primarily through education. It works closely with the CBCEW Department for Education and Formation and represents the Bishops’ national education policy in relation to the 2300 Catholic schools, colleges and universities which the Church is responsible for across England and Wales.


The CES negotiates with the Westminster and Welsh Governments and other national bodies in order to safeguard and promote Catholic education. It also offers a Catholic contribution to the English and Welsh educational landscapes, seeking to ensure that the principles of Catholic Social Teaching are reflected in all aspects of national education policy.

The CES works closely with Catholic education bodies in Scotland and Ireland, and with the European Committee for Catholic Education, to promote Catholic education at an international level. Within England and Wales, the CES liaises with the Church of England’s National Society, the Church in Wales and other faith groups, to ensure that, where appropriate, the different faith communities speak with one voice on educational issues of mutual concern.


The CES has its roots in the Catholic Poor School Committee founded in 1847. At this time with the restoration of the Catholic hierarchy the work of the committee focused on primary education and there was an expectation among the clergy that where finances would not permit the building of both a church and a school, building a school should take precedence, thus serving as the focal point and place of worship for the local Catholic community until a church could also be built.

The Secondary Education Council was added and in 1905 the Catholic Education Council (CEC) for England and Wales was established. Although the responsibilities did not change with the CEC's development into CES in 1991, the ways in which these would be achieved did change and continue to evolve in order to respond to contemporary needs.


Former CES director, Oona Stannard, described the sex relationships education (SRE) bill as a 'positive step forward' despite the then Education Secretary, Ed Balls, when asked about the any opt-out for faith schools in the bill, stating 'there is no watering down and also there is no opt out for any faith school from teaching the full, broad, balanced curriculum on sex relationship education.'

The Catholic Education Service declined to participate in the Coalition Government's flagship Free School programme because schools created under that scheme could not prioritise 100% of their places for Catholic children.



The Right Reverend Malcolm McMahon OP, Bishop of Nottingham; The Right Reverend John Sherrington, Auxiliary Bishop of Westminster.

Management Committee:

The Right Reverend Malcolm McMahon OP, Bishop of Nottingham; The Right Reverend Peter Doyle, Bishop of Northampton; The Right Reverend John Sherrington, Auxiliary Bishop of Westminster; The Reverend Monsignor Marcus Stock; The Reverend Father John Weatherill; Mrs Kate Griffin;

Chairman: The Right Reverend Malcolm McMahon OP, Bishop of Nottingham.

Director: Paul Barber

Deputy Director: Mr Greg Pope


Catholic Education Service Wikipedia

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