Foundation directors/governors are appointed in the name of the Bishop and form the majority of the governing body of a Catholic school/academy trust. They have a legal duty to preserve and develop the Catholic character of the school/academy trust and to ensure that it is conducted in accordance with its trust deed. Service as a foundation director/governor in a Catholic school is one of the most significant and important ways members of the Catholic Faith community can support the Church’s mission.

To nominate yourself to become a Foundation Director or Foundation Governor, please complete the application forms below. Alternatively, if you require a paper copy please contact the Department for Education.

We encourage all applicants to read the additional guidance documents in this section.

Contact details

Diocesan Department for Education
St. Cuthbert’s House
West Road
Newcastle upon Tyne NE15 7PY


Tel: 0191 243 3313

Fax: 0191 243 3309



As a charity and company limited by guarantee, the Catholic Education Trust (in law, Multi Academy Trust Company) is governed by a board of directors who are responsible for, and oversight of, the management and administration of the CET. The directors have overall responsibility and decision-making authority for the work of the CET. These responsibilities are carried out through strategic planning and setting of policy.

As the academies are Catholic schools, the directors are accountable to the Bishop and are required to ensure that the academies are conducted as Catholic schools in accordance with canon law and the teachings of the Catholic Church so that, at all times, the schools may serve as witness to the teachings of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Directors are also accountable to external agencies including the Charity Commission, the Department for Education, and the Education & Skills Funding Agency. Both the Bishop and external government agencies hold the CET to account for the quality of education, financial propriety and the value they provide, and require that the CET has systems in place through which they can assure themselves of quality, safety and good practice.

Directors are appointed according to their skills so that the board is fully able to carry out its functions. The board of directors consists of foundation directors who are practising Catholics and are appointed by the Bishop. Boards may contain non-foundation directors whose appointments are approved by the Bishop. Foundation directors are always in the majority of at least two. All directors are accountable to the Bishop and members and they have a duty to uphold the objects (as outlined in the Articles of Association) and to comply with any directives, advice, and/or guidance issued by the Bishop. They are responsible for preserving and developing the CET’s Catholic character at all times, and this overriding duty (which is also a legal duty) should permeate everything that the directors do.

Foundation Directors Application Form

To complete an application, please click here.


Governors play are crucial role in the leadership of our Diocesan schools. They share in the strategic responsibility of promoting high educational standards and in ensuring that the school is conducted as a Catholic school in accordance with the Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle ‘Memorandum of Understanding’, the school’s Instrument of Government and other legislation. In addition to all the other legal responsibilities of the governing body, the law recognises that foundation governors are appointed specifically to ensure:

  • That the Catholic character of the school is preserved;
  • That the school is conducted in accordance with its trust deed; and
  • That the religious education curriculum is in accordance with the bishop’s policy for his diocese, based on the Bishops’ Conference Curriculum Directory.

Foundation governors are, therefore, appointed by the bishop, or religious order, to represent their interests and those of the Catholic community as a whole. Foundation governors play a leading role in the Catholic community: they collaborate with the bishop in his ministry in education. It is, therefore, important for them to:

  • Know and implement the bishop’s policies on education, including religious education;
  • Represent those policies to the governing body;
  • Understand and promote the distinctive nature of Catholic education;
  • Act for the good of Catholic education as a whole within the diocese, considering not only the interests of the individual school or college, but the interests of other schools and colleges;
  • Respond to the needs of the Catholic community as a whole, as represented by the bishop;
  • Secure the long-term future of Catholic education;
  • Always act in accordance with the mind of the bishop.

Foundation Governors Application Form

To complete an application, please click here.


To support governors in their role, the Diocesan Department for Education is offering the following training sessions:

  • RE/RSHE (Virtual): Tuesday 28 February 2023 Times: 2.00pm – 4.00pm or 6.00pm – 8.00pm.
  • Catholic School Inspection (Virtual) – Tuesday 16 May 2023 Times: 2.00pm – 4.00pm or 6.00pm – 8.00pm.

All governor training sessions need to be booked via the school course booking site. Once registered, the governor’s email will be added to a SharePoint site so that the courses and any relevant documentation can be accessed virtually.