Director of Catholic Mission promotes Catholic Social Teaching at Education event

Dr Ann Marie Mealey, Director of Catholic Mission at Leeds Trinity University, was recently invited to Bishop Hogarth Catholic Education Trust to discuss the core principles of Catholic Social Teaching (CST) and the relevance to teaching.

Based in Darlington, Bishop Hogarth Catholic EducationTrust aims to provide a practical and moral purpose to the furthering of education, giving strength and a collective responsibility for the educational welfare of pupils in schools.

Their in-service education and training (INSET) Day on Friday 20th October brought together over 1,600 staff from 35 of the schools they work with across the North East of England and was centred around the fundamental principles of Catholic Social Teaching. In attendance were the Trust’s Deputy CEO Nick Conway, and Assistant Vice Principal and Head of Catholic Life Andrew Gardner, both of whom are graduates of Leeds Trinity. A further 30 Leeds Trinity alumni, who are all now working in various roles across the education sector, were also present, as were over 200 teachers who completed their PGCEs with Carmel Teacher Training Partnership, which are accredited by Leeds Trinity University.

Dr Mealey, a Catholic Moral Theologian and Ethicist, was invited to the event as a keynote speaker to discuss how the principles of CST should be integrated into daily life within Catholic institutions. Her address urged attendees to consider adopting a ‘compassionate pedagogy’, inclusive practices that enable the full participation of each and every student in the classroom, and innovative ways of teaching and behaving that support the education of society’s most vulnerable groups. She suggested that the Catholic School should be a place where the dignity, personal story and circumstance of students is respected, and where innovative practices are continuously implemented to develop the potential of all.

The address was followed by a Q&A and group discussion, providing attendees with an opportunity to exchange ideas and seek guidance on how to better incorporate these principles into their roles.

Dr Mealey’s speech at the event allowed her an opportunity to convey the University’s Catholic Mission and also contribute to the shaping of Catholic education in the North East both now and into the future.

“It was a great pleasure to give the keynote speech at Bishop Hogarth Catholic Education Trust recently,” said Mealey.

“I was impressed by the commitment of the staff to developing the potential of their students whilst upholding the values of Catholic Social Teaching in an inclusive and empowering way. They do this through their teaching practice, their community engagement, support for the vulnerable and their families as well as their approach to ethical leadership throughout every aspect of the life of the Trust.