Deputy heads share ideas on nurturing young talent
By Amanda Connelly
Deputy heads from across Scotland joined together last week with the aim of developing the higher gifts in young Catholics.
Some 40 delegates came from as far as Dundee and Saltcoats to the Stirling Court Hotel for the annual depute heads conference of the Catholic Headteachers’ Association of Scotland (CHAS).
The theme of this year’s conference was ‘aspiring for the higher gifts, for all our young people’—a line taken from St Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians and a theme that the deputes looked at fostering in pupils in a modern context.
The guest speaker was Professor of Education Tony Finn from the University of Glasgow, who gave the keynote address to the delegates present and discussed what these higher gifts were and how deputes could develop them in young people across schools.
Directors past and present from the Scottish Catholic Education Service (SCES) were recognised. A presentation was made to former SCES director Michael McGrath for his contribution, service and support to Catholic education.
Current SCES director Barbara Coupar also spoke at the conference about her vision for SCES. She emphasised the need to look at the importance and unique identity of Catholic schools in Scottish education, and to not be afraid of having robust Faith schools in a secular context.
Mark Booker also presented an ‘enlightening’ presentation on behalf of SCIAF, introducing the charity’s new materials for working in schools, particularly prior to Lent.
The conference was organised by CHAS’ deputes steering group, an organisation that was set up to focus on depute headteachers within CHAS and on how to build leadership at all levels in Catholic schools.
The conference marked the second main event of the year for the steering group, the other being a retreat that allowed delegates time to reflect on what they are about in Catholic schools, networking, and what is currently available to help them encourage and aid young people on their faith journeys.
– This story ran in full in the February 3 edition print of the SCO, available in parishes.