What are the qualifications and characteristics needed to head a Catholic school today?
What are the key challenges of the job and what kind of support can a head-master
or mistress expect when the going gets tough? All those questions were on the agenda
at the beginning of April at a meeting of the European Committee for Catholic Education,
hosted by St Mary’s University College, Twickenham - yes, the very same venue which
Pope Benedict visited during his pastoral journey to the UK in September last year.
Oona Stannard is Director of the Catholic Education Service for England and Wales
and was one of the principle organisers of the Pope’s meeting with teachers and school
children in Twickenham – a meeting that was streamed live to Catholic schools and
colleges across England, Scotland and Wales. She told Philippa Hitchen about the challenges
facing head teachers in the UK and about the lasting impact of Pope Benedict’s meeting
with the world of Catholic education ...