Northern Ireland news

Catholic Schools Week marked across Northern Ireland

Catholic Schools Week is marked across Northern Ireland until January 30

MASSES, assemblies and activities with the theme of "living life to the full" are being held as part of Catholic Schools Week.

Over the course of this week, schools will host various events for pupils, families, parishioners and the wider community to "celebrate the importance and the holistic educational provision" of Catholic schools.

With 469 Catholic schools in the north with 149,626 pupils, the theme this year is, 'Catholic Schools: Living Life to the full'.

It comes as the Council for Catholic Maintained Schools (CCMS) and Catholic Schools’ Trustee Service (CSTS) launch the 'Catholic Schools’ Ethos Paper'.

It sets out the principles of Catholic education and future vision for its schools.

Bishop Donal McKeown, chair of CCMS and CSTS, said the paper "articulates the future vision of Catholic education, its ethos, and values".

Gerry Campbell, chief executive of CCMS, said the publication "communicates the underlying philosophy and characteristics of Catholic education"

"Over the past five years, examination data shows that Catholic maintained school outcomes remain well above the average for non-selective schools," he said.

"The degree to which Catholic schools continue to attract such a significant percentage of the school age population is testament to the quality of the educational provision in those schools."

Fintan Murphy, chief executive of CSTS, added: "It is designed to provide a clear articulation of the ethos and vison which is the foundation of Catholic education."

Professor Peter Finn, principal of St Mary’s University College, Belfast said the paper is "particularly beneficial to the educators in Catholic schools as well as student teachers as it sets out a collective and world-wide shared understanding of the key characteristics which contribute to the distinctive ethos of the sector."

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