Articles of Association

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Memorandum of Understanding

Parties: (1) Diocese of Salford
(2) Catholic Academy Trust (MAT)
(3) Catholic Academy


With the establishment of academies and MATS in the Diocese and nationally brought about by the Academies Act 2010, the Bishop together with the MAT Directors and academy governors have set out in this Memorandum of Understanding their commitments to each other to ensure that the MAT conducts the academy as a Catholic academy in accordance with the canon law and teachings of the Roman Catholic Church and in accordance with the Trust Deed of the Diocese of Salford so that at all times the academy may serve as a witness to the Catholic faith in Our Lord Jesus Christ. This Memorandum of Understanding also articulates the roles and responsibilities of the Bishop and the Diocesan Department of education in relation to all diocesan schools whether VA or Academy.
The Church provides Catholic academies and schools to:
 Assist in its mission of making Christ known to all people.
 Assist parents, who are the primary educators of their children, in the education and religious formation of their children.
 Be at the service of the local Church – the diocese, the parish and the Christian home.
 Be a service to society.
The vision for the education of children in Catholic schools and academies is based on the challenge exhorted by Pope Francis:
“We can ask ourselves this question: Am I stuck on the playground or do I wish to fly high? Am I tied to a herd, blindly doing what everyone does, seeking only self-satisfaction, focused on myself, or do I look above to fly high? Don’t be scared, dare to have fabulous plans. I encourage you not to be afraid to dream, to have great ideals, to be builders of hope”


1. This Memorandum of Understanding signifies a statement of intent to collaborate and expresses the intent of all the parties to work together to achieve their mutual goals.
2. It recognises the intention of the…………………Catholic Academy Trust, the Salford Roman Catholic Diocesan Trustees (the “Diocese”) and……………….Roman Catholic Academy to co-operate and work together to provide a framework for education which is in accordance with the teachings, doctrines, discipline and norms of the Catholic Church and with any guidelines and policies of the Salford Diocesan Department for Education
The fivefold model of a Christian community is applicable to all Catholic schools, academies and multi-academy trusts. It provides a clearly articulated framework for understanding, evaluating and celebrating the distinctive and authentic living tradition of Catholic education within the Diocese of Salford. Furthermore it clarifies and reasserts the particular role of education in the Church’s overall evangelising and pastoral mission. The following are excerpts from the “5 Ws Framework” and their meaning applies equally to schools, academies and multi-academy trusts.

Catholic Leadership

Our schools, academies and multi-academy trusts will each establish a unique vision and mission, led by senior leaders, challenged and supported by governors and directors and incorporating the hopes and dreams of all school communities. The Framework also requires that an honest, robust and far reaching system for self-evaluation exist across all levels of governance.

A Word of God Community

The school, academy and multi-academy trust mission statement is lived and expressed in every aspect of school life. Religious Education is the core and foundation of the entire curriculum and the time dedicated to RE meets the requirements of the Religious Education Curriculum Directory. All pupils receive their first entitlement to be spiritually, morally, socially and culturally educated and are encouraged to engage with the “Big Questions” in life through higher order questioning and thinking across all areas of the curriculum.

A Welcoming Community

The school, academy and multi-academy trust actively reaches out with respect for diversity, develop values, policies and processes which provide clear evidence of the quality of welcome to all. Policies, procedures and practice must ensure that all feel fully included. The diversity of pupils and staff is celebrated and the dignity and equality of each person, created in the image and likeness of God, is valued and embraced in the shared mission of the school, academy or MAT community.

A Welfare Community

Enabling every pupil and adult to “have life to the full” based upon Christ at the Centre of the school, academy and MAT communities. Developing a comprehensive and holistic Sex and Relationships Education programme which celebrates sexuality and our responsibility therein as a gift from God.
Good Stewardship, Service and Justice will inform decisions relating to resource provision on the basis of need.

A Worshipping Community

Worship opportunities for pupils throughout the school (prayer, reflection, liturgies) including small and large groups which are appropriate to their backgrounds and faith experiences. Where Priests are available, the celebration of Holy Mass and the Sacrament of Penance as part of the sacramental and celebratory life of the school, academy or multi-academy trust and within the context of educating pupils in the Church’s liturgy and celebration of the Church’s Liturgical Year, are openly encouraged. The resourcing of a developmental and systematic prayer and worship policy is appropriately funded.

A Witnessing Community

Giving witness to the loving God who is the centre and way of life for all within Christ-centred Catholic community and culture. Witnessing to the values of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, who came that “we may have life and have it to the full” (John 10:10), such as reconciliation, compassion, justice, liberation, service and stewardship in every aspect of school, academy or MAT life and in the policies and procedures at all levels.

Principles of MATS in the Diocese of Salford

The following principles from “the common good in education”, (Bishops’ Conference 1996) are at the basis of our working relationships.
 Solidarity – we are all responsible for each other
 Subsidiarity – allowing people to be able to contribute to decision-making at all levels

This is reflected in the following key principles:
1. The MAT Directors and all academies within the MAT take collective responsibility for all our children
2. The MAT Directors and individual academies will strengthen our family of academies including identifying opportunities for supporting the formation of young people and those who work in our schools
3. Individual academies and the MAT Directors will work in partnership with families and parishes to promote strong, positive links
4. The MAT will collaborate with other diocesan MATs to ensure the best practice is available to all and where support is needed it is readily available creating an environment where academies support each other without being judgemental
5. No individual academy or school will be left in a vulnerable position

Restatement of the Purpose of the MAT and Catholic Distinctiveness

A. Any admissions policy will be based upon the appropriate Diocese of Salford model policy. The PAN, or any alteration to it, shall be agreed with the Bishop, or his nominee in the curia, in accordance with diocesan protocol. The MAT and academy will at all times follow the admissions code
B. The provision of Religious Education and Collective Worship will be undertaken in accordance with the teachings, rites and liturgical norms of the Catholic Church and will be subject to the authority and direction of the Bishop of Salford.
C. Land held by the Diocesan Trustees is used by the MAT at the discretion of the Bishop and must be used for purposes which are consistent with the objects of the trust.


Catholic Character

1. The Bishop together with the Diocesan Department for Education will continue to support the development of a strong Catholic ethos in the MAT, the Academy and in the community of Catholic academies and schools, supporting a collective voice on national issues affecting the Academy and helping to communicate the Academy’s concerns and needs to those with the responsibility for the funding and regulation of academies.
2. The Bishop will provide guidance on the teachings of the Catholic Church in order to support the teaching of others.
1. Recognising that education is about the formation of young people and creating an environment that enables the development of character and an approach to life in the Catholic faith, the Diocese will continue to provide support to the Academy in the pursuit of excellence and high quality education.
2. The Diocesan Department for Education will continue to support regular meetings of representatives of the Catholic academies and schools in the Diocese to encourage the transfer of knowledge and the sharing of best practice. Head Teachers or their representatives are expected to attend such meetings as appropriate. The head of RE/RE co-ordinator is expected to attend Diocesan heads of RE meetings/area RE co-ordinator meetings.
3. The Bishop will seek in so far as he is able to ensure that high quality, committed, skilled individuals are put forward as foundation directors and governors to the MAT and Academy and will conscientiously monitor the contribution made by such appointees and will remove foundation governors in the event of misconduct and/or a failure to support the high ideals of the Academy and the Bishop together.
4. Where the Diocesan Department for Education becomes aware of any matter
of significant concern, including any matter which might lead to the Secretary of State exercising his intervention powers, the Diocesan Department for Education will discuss the matter with the directors and governors honestly and in good faith with the aim of formulating a plan to address such concern.

Buildings, Maintenance and Capital Expenditure

1. Land held by the Diocesan Trustees is used by the MAT at the discretion of the Bishop and must be used for purposes which are consistent with the objects of the trust.
2. The Diocesan Department for Education will not unreasonably withhold permission for the Academy to improve or maintain the Academy site, and will take responsibility for engaging with the appropriate authorities in relation to place planning
3. In so far as the Diocesan Department for Education feels is prudent given competing requests from other academies in the Diocese, the Diocesan Office for Education and Schools will support the MAT and Academy in any grant application to the Secretary of State and will provide advice and support in the procurement of capital works. No financial responsibility is assumed.


Catholic Character

1. The MAT will maintain and develop the religious character of all its academies as Catholic Academies and no alteration shall be made to the Religious character of the Academy or conduct as a Catholic Academy without the consent of the Diocesan Trustees and the Bishop.
2. The Academy’s daily act of religious worship shall be in accordance with the rites, practices, disciplines and liturgical norms of the Catholic Church.
3. The MAT and the academy will promote an authentic culture of vocation, encouraging pupils and staff to interpret their existence in the light of God’s plan, with pupils developing and staff modelling an understanding of communal obligations, personal aspirations and their role as citizens in society.
4. The MAT and the academy will assist parents, who are the primary educators of their children, in the education and Religious formation of their children.
5. The Academy will work in relationship with other Catholic academies both within the MAT and with other Diocesan schools and academies based on the call of the Gospel to serve those in need.
6. The MAT and the Academy at all times will serve as a witness to the Catholic faith in Our Lord Jesus Christ.


1. The MAT Directors and any Local Governing Bodies shall comply with any guidelines and/or policies issued by the Diocesan Department for Education in respect of, but not limited to the appointment, responsibilities and conduct of Directors and Governors. The MAT Directors and any Local Governing Body shall also comply with any guidelines and/or policies issued by the Catholic Education Service.
2. The Foundation Directors and Governors of the MAT and Academy shall be formally appointed by the Bishop following recommendations from the Diocesan Department of Education on behalf of the diocesan Bishop.
3. All Foundation Directors and Governors:
a) shall be practising Roman Catholic;
b) shall not be an employee of the MAT or related to an employee;
c) shall not be automatically eligible for re-election after the expiry of any term of office.
Any Parish Priest shall not be subject to the restriction in 3c) and shall be able to serve such terms as are required.
4. Unless the Bishop agrees in writing otherwise, the Chair of the Governors must be a Foundation Governor. The Chair of the MAT Board must be a Foundation Director.
5. The governing body shall govern the school in accordance with any advice, guidelines or policies relating to education published by the diocesan Bishop from time to time, and in accordance with the teachings, doctrines, discipline and norms of the Catholic Church.
6. All Directors and Governors undertake to fulfil and observe the objects and purposes for which the MAT and its academies have been established.
7. All Directors and Governors undertake to sign the ‘Governors’ Code of Conduct’, or any protocol for conduct as produced by the Diocese from time to time.
8. The MAT and academy will review its policies and practices on a regular basis, having regard to recommendations made by the Diocesan Department for Education in order to ensure that the governance of the MAT and academy are best able to adapt to the changing legal and political environment.
9. The MAT and Academy will consider on an ongoing basis the need for training and skills development of governors as well as considering succession planning to ensure robust practices are maintained and supervised, particularly in light of the increasing autonomy of academies, making recommendations to the Bishop with regard to the nomination of foundation directors or governors for his appointment.
10. The Diocesan Department for Education will provide regular briefing updates on current issues for all Chairs (of MATs and Governors) to share best practice.
11. The Academy will not implement any proposals for a change in status or for the expansion or contraction of the Academy without the written consent of the Bishop.

Buildings, Maintenance and Capital Expenditure

1. The Directors and Governors will ensure that at all times any land used by the MAT or the Academy will not be used for purposes which would not be consistent with the teachings and practices of the Catholic Church and that any lettings of MAT premises shall be in accordance with any policy issued from time to time by the Diocese.
2. The MAT and Academy will consult with the Diocesan Department for Education and Schools Buildings Team and share information about any planned significant maintenance and replacement of buildings and facilities used by the MAT or Academy and will not undertake any capital works to the buildings or any part of the Academy site without first obtaining the written consent of the Diocese.
3. Any grants or otherwise received by the MAT or Academy for capital expenditure, if not specifically identified will be distributed by a fair process in accordance with Diocesan protocol and advice from the Diocese Property Department.
4. The MAT shall develop in conjunction with the Schools Buildings Team, a 5 year estate management strategy that will identify the suitability of facilities in light of long term curriculum needs and the need for and availability of capital investment to meet the Trust’s and Academy’s responsibility to the Diocesan Trustee to ensure the buildings are maintained to a good standard.


1. The MAT shall always adopt the current diocesan model policy and protocol for admissions for all its academies.
2. The MAT will not change its PAN or admission criteria without the consent of the Diocesan Department of Education.


1. The MAT is the employer across the whole MAT and all its academies.
2. In line with the Bishops Memorandum on Appointment of Teachers, any Chief Executive Officer; Executive Head teacher; Head teacher; Head of School, Deputy Head teacher; (Lay) Chaplain and Head of Religious Education/Religious Education Subject Leader, shall be a practising Catholic.
3. Where there are two or more Assistant Head teachers, at least 50% should be practising Catholic.
4. When appointing a teaching or non-teaching member of staff or issuing a new contract for an existing member of staff, the MAT Directors are obliged to use the appropriate Catholic Education Service (“CES”) contract available at that time and shall comply with CES policies in force at that time including, but not limited to, policies on the employment, capability and discipline of staff.
5. The MAT shall adopt the School Teachers’ Pay Conditions for all teaching staff, both established and newly appointed from time to time, such conditions to be tracked as long as they are in existence.
6. The MAT shall adopt the existing terms and conditions for all non-teaching staff transferred to the MAT and when reviewing such terms and conditions, the MAT and Academy shall have regard to the terms and conditions adopted by foundation and voluntary aided maintained schools in the MAT area for their non-teaching staff.
7. All employees of the MAT shall have access to the Teachers Pension Scheme and Local Government Pension Scheme as applicable.


1. The MAT and Academy must comply with directives from the Bishop regarding the scheme of work for Religious Education as specified from time to time. Religious education shall constitute 10% of the weekly timetable in accordance with the tenets and norms of the Catholic Church.


1. The MAT Directors shall ensure that all policies, procedures required within the EFA Financial Handbook are adopted and implemented as required and that any recommendations or guidance within the handbook are incorporated into the practice and procedures of the MAT and all its academies.
2. The MAT shall ensure that suitable governance arrangements, by way of MAT Board, local governing bodies, committees and working parties are in place in order to ensure compliance with the articles, schemes of delegation, Diocesan guidance, EFA Financial Handbook and all appropriate legislation.


1. Inspection of the Academy shall be conducted pursuant to s48 Education Act 2005 and Canon 808 by those appointed by the diocesan Bishop through the Diocesan Department for Education.

Services provided

 The Academy shall contribute a portion of its funding, agreed from time to time with the Diocesan Department for Education to assist the Department to carry out its functions.
 The Diocese shall obtain primary insurance to cover, at the least, all capital matters, from the Catholic Church Insurance Association or the government Risk Protection Arrangements (RPA)
 It is the joint responsibility of the MAT Board and Local Governing Bodies to ensure that positive cultures and robust policy and practice is in place in relation to Safeguarding, Complaints and Whistleblowing.
Signed :

Diocese of Salford MoU October 2016 v4