Your Faith in Our Schools
About 170 Catholic school principals from across Northern Ireland enjoyed a conference in which they could share their “common vision and values” and hear advice on mental health and wellbeing as well as modern Faith-based education.
The Catholic Principals Association (CPA) conference began with a prayer and a tribute to the late chairperson Tony Devlin who was said to have a “passion and determination that was infectious” and would be sorely missed. They launched a bursary in his name, which will be presented annually to the winning school who will receive a £1,000 award.
It was said the bursary was to keep alive “his great desire for all children to be valued and to be given equality of opportunity to develop their skills and talents”.
Speaking to The Irish Catholic, Principal Gary Trainor of St Joseph’s Primary School in Meigh, Co. Armagh said: “We’re all Catholic leaders, we’re all doing the best job that we can and coming together as a forum to promote the Catholic voice, I think that is something that is needed.”
He added that some of the views expressed during the conference were very important, particularly the idea of not being complacent and “hope that somebody else is fighting our corner”.
“If it’s done anything it is rally the troops to become a bit more proactive… continuing on the fantastic job that the CPA have been doing over the last 9 years,” Mr Trainor said.
Principal of St Teresa’s Nursery School, Clare Evans, said one of the main reasons she attended the conference was she was “quite frightened” about efforts to change legislation regarding Faith-based schools in Scotland by Humanists.
Mrs Evans said she wanted to “become upskilled in the dialogue to have with other people because I think we are quite guilty collectively, certainly myself you know and I grew up to kind of sit back and be polite, but I think it’s time for action”.
Due to the current political context, she added, “it’s time to push back”.