On Friday 20 October, Bishop Hogarth Catholic Education Trust brought together over 1,600 staff from our family of 35 schools for a transformative INSET Day. The day was centred around the fundamental principles of Catholic Social Teaching, a doctrine deeply rooted in the Catholic faith that emphasises the moral and social teachings of Jesus Christ.

The event commenced with an address by Mike Shorten, CEO of our Trust, who set the tone for a day of reflection, inspiration, and action. The morning featured a special Celebration of the Word in each venue, where our children’s spirited singing and dancing served as a powerful reminder of the living presence of Christ within our Trust.

Dr Ann Marie Mealey, Director of Catholic Mission at Leeds Trinity University and a widely respected Catholic Moral Theologian and Ethicist, delivered the keynote address. She set out the core principles of Catholic Social Teaching and how to integrate them into Catholic education institutions. Her address urged attendees to consider adopting a ‘compassionate pedagogy,’ motivated by the teachings and example of Christ rather than external benchmarks.

Our staff spent the rest of the morning exchanging ideas and celebrating where our schools already live out the values of Catholic Social Teaching – as champions of the common good who prioritise the needs of the most vulnerable and stand in solidarity with all their communities.

In the afternoon, our focus turned to the future, and we explored how our schools can fortify Catholic Social Teaching as the cornerstone of our educational mission. We left full of ideas and motivated to deepen our connection to Christ’s teachings.

The INSET Day not only served as a valuable opportunity for professional development but also reinforced our Trust’s commitment to fostering a holistic education that nurtures both the intellect and the spirit.