Firstly, let us tell you why you have been directed here.
In the Education Act (Scotland) 1918, Catholic schools were brought into the state sector.
Previously, they had been built, financed, and staffed by the Catholic Church.
Among the other provisionsof the Act, the Catholic Church was given the right under law
to have a definitive say in the final appointment of staff to Catholic schools.
This is known as approval.
You can read the appropriate excerpts of the legislation here.
We hope you will find the following advice helpful.
You will have noticed above the phrase ‘appropriate post’. What do we mean?
A Catholic school is, in many respects, like every other school. There are different types of teaching staff
with differing duties and responsibilities. While all are called to help create and nurture the school community, some have a leadership role within the school and thus a direct responsibility for helping
to form a Catholic educational community.
Others, again, especially most primary school teachers, teach religious education (RE) to young people. Teaching RE is more than imparting information, it is witnessing to Christ and being part of the Catholic Church.
It might be perfectly reasonable for a chemistry teacher in a secondary school to be simply asked
to help support the Catholic values upheld in a school, but not necessarily be a practicing Catholic themselves.
On the other hand, for a person to take a leadership role in a Catholic school at the level
of management, it is essential that person be a member of the community they are trying to help form.
In fact head teachers and deputy head teachers in a Catholic Schools must be Catholics.
All teaching staff, whether they be permanent, temporary,
newly qualified, promoted or filling newly created posts within schools in which they already teach, are required by law to seek approval.
What do I do?
The first thing to do is to familiarize yourself with the ‘Charter for Catholic Schools’.
A copy can be downloaded here.
This gives a summary of the vision that the Church has for Catholic schools.
Then, you are asked to download two forms. They are conveniently labelled Approval Form A
and Approval Form B.
Who can be your referee?
If you are a practising Catholic, the principal referee must be your parish priest, i.e. the priest
of the parish in which you reside, or the priest of the church which you regularly attend.
If you are a non-practicing Catholic, you may wish to have a conversation with your Church Representative. However a suitable professional person (usually in the same category as those eligible to sign
a passport form) who knows you well enough to attest to your character and religious beliefs can be approached as a referee.
If you are not a Catholic, again the referee should be a professional person able to give some evidence
of your moral and religious outlook. Wherever possible, candidates are encouraged to seek a referee other than their head teacher, though this may not always be possible. All personal information is kept secure and in accordance with the Diocese of Dunkeld’s data protection policy (see Diocesan Website
Guidance for your referee can be read here.
Normally, and if possible, the church representative will notify you informally by email or telephone call, if you are likely to be granted approval. They will also notify the relevant officials in the council in which lies the school to which you have applied.
After being nominated by the interview panel as the ‘preferred candidate’ for the position,
final approval will always be given in writing. Should you be refused approval, this too will be given
in writing along with the reasons for not granting approbation. You may appeal if approval is not given.
Normally, this appeal is heard by Mrs Barbara Coupar, Director of the Scottish Catholic Education Service, on behalf of the Bishops’ Conference. She can be contacted here.
When approval is sought again
Approval must be sought for each new post or each change
in the nature of the post.
For example, if the person has been approved for a limited time in the case of a temporary appointment,
and is applying for the post on a permanent basis, approval must be sought again in the manner described above.
When the teaching post for which the candidate has applied involves teaching religious education, the candidate should have a Catholic teaching certificate (CTC).
In the case of certain promoted posts, head teacher,
principal teacher in a Primary school, or a deputy
in either a primary or secondary school,
there is a requirement that
the candidate be a practicing Catholic and either possess
or be in the process of attaining a CTC.
The document describing 'The Requirements of the Bishops of Scotland with regards to the Appointment of Senior Leaders and Teachers of Religious Education within Catholic Schools' can be viewed here.
You can obtain details on how to obtain your CTC here.
Your Church Representative
The church representative for schools in Dundee City Council area, and the person to whom your forms and questions should be directed, is Mrs Moira Leck,
42 Denoon Terrace,
Dundee, DD2 2EB;
Moira attended Notre Dame College and the University of Glasgow. She gained the new qualification of B. Ed in History and Religious Studies in 1978 thereafter gaining
Master of Education
from the University of Glasgow.
Moira was appointed to St Margaret’s High school Airdrie where she taught History and Religious Studies presenting young people for O ‘ Grade
and A Level Religious Studies( no Higher qualification in 1978)
She became Principal Teacher of History then Assistant Head Teacher in St Margaret’s High
where she worked for 14 years.
Returning to Dundee in 1991 Moira became Depute Head in St Johns High School for 8 years before taking up the post of Head Teacher
at Lawside RC Academy in 1999.
She was seconded to Dundee City Council working closely with both St Saviours and Lawside Academy before being appointed to the Headteacher post of St Paul’s R.C. Academy.
She retired in 2011 before taking up a post with Down’s Syndrome Scotland followed
by a management role in a local business.
Moira is married with two grown up Sons.