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National School of Formation

The National School of Formation


As Catholic educators pursue their true mission and core purpose in schools, many are encountering a growing tension between national education policy and their intentions and aspiration for children and young people.  


The National School of Formation has been established to support the call for more effective ad appropriate provision for Headteachers and Governors to realise the true mission of the Church in education.


The National School of Formation is a programme and vehicle to:


  • Support the personal and spiritual development of leaders in education for the renewal of society.
  • explore ways of developing the vision and mission for Catholic education.
  • be a powerful voice for Catholic educators in local and national forums.


"The mission of the Church is to evangelize, for the interior transformation and the renewal of humanity.  For young people, the school is one of the ways for this evangelization to take place".


The Religious Dimension of Education in a Catholic School, 1988 #66



Feedback from the 2017 - 2018 National School of Formation


‘The programme has made me realise that I have a gift – my Catholic faith, I have the responsibility to use if for the benefit of others’


‘Thank you for the opportunity; it’s already changed my life’


I have the courage to believe I have a voice… I have been able to challenge colleagues and diocesan thinking about Catholic education’


‘It has been like coming out of the darkness … it gave me hope and little by little it has changed me … my heart has melted and beats again with new passion’


‘I have the courage to stop and clearly articulate to others, the purpose of Catholic education’


‘All the events have deepened my faith…and I am having some positive impact on pupils and staff’


‘Seriously thinking of leaving…I feel rejuvenated and inspired to continue’


‘Staff formation is now my priority…friendships and connections made through NSF will not disappear’


‘I am changed, I am inspired, and I am moved beyond measure’


‘Meeting with like-minded people and inspiring people like Brendan and Sr. Judith has changed me and empowered me to be ‘of the Church’


‘The programme has made me realise I have the power to transform the lives of others’ ‘I know my own priorities and it has transformed the core work of my school putting Christ and his teachings at the heart’


Please open the pdf file below for further information.

National School of Formation

Booking form and dates for the National School of Formation 2019 - 2020

Timetable for year of formation


Part 1 - Annual Headteachers' National Retreat June 14th - 15th June 2018 (option of arriving on the night of the 13th June)

There is also the option of attending the retreat in June 2019 for those participants who are unable to do this in June 2018.


       Part 2 – Immersion Event October 3rd - 5th Oct 2018 (with the possibility of arriving the evening of the 2nd).


Part 3 - Theological reflection into transformational practice.  January 9th - 10th  2019


Part 4 - Theological reflection, advocacy for transformation.  March 13th - 14th 2019


For further information please contact Brendan Duffy at 07495 294562 or Sr Judith Russi at or mobile number 07729 014144.

Transformational Projects across the UK for Headteachers are arranged on an individual/small group basis.

Study visit to Manila October 2017

Ten members of the NSF took part in a high profile research project in Manila.  They visited St Scholastica's Academy for Girls run by the Benedictine Sisters.  This school has pioneered a radical curriculum and formation programme based on Catholic Social teaching.  The school actively promotes advocacy for the poor and those on the margins of society.  Of particular interest to the NSF delegates was the commitment and active service programmes for all pupils and staff in the school. The visit included a meeting with Cardinal Tagle of the Philippines.  The group also met with a wide range of educationalist engaged in transformational education.

Manila 2017

Article written by Raymond Friel for Networking Catholic Education Today