Two Catholic schools in Kent have been granted academy status by the Department for Education as part of a proposal for all 32 voluntary-aided Catholic schools in the county to be made academies.
The plan for increasing numbers of Catholic academies is being
overseen by a new organisation called Kent Catholic Schools Partnership
KCSP was formed as a company on 12 August to coordinate the
conversion of a cluster of Catholic schools, partly because, in Kent,
schools are relatively spread out geographically and organisers sought
an “umbrella” approach.
The new Kent academies are schools that have converted from Voluntary
Aided status to academies: St Joseph’s Catholic Primary in Aylesham and
St Simon Stock Secondary in Maidstone were granted academy status from 1
A further 12 Catholic schools are set to join KCSP as academies by the end of the school year.
A number of Catholic schools have converted to academy status after 2010 legislation made it possible for any school to do so.
Sr Judith Russi, an education adviser to dioceses, sounded a note of caution about the Kent plan.
“These are uncharted waters and I am not convinced that our ship is
strong enough to withstand the inevitable storms that may well come upon
us,” Sr Russi told The Tablet.
“Those who embrace Academy status are governed by commercial law and
therefore [are] technically a business as distinct from an academic
institution within the Church whose prime mission is evangelisation,”