Starting a school is not a decision for which one necessarily does well to seek the advice of too many professional educators. How could one be sufficiently wise, knowledgeable and experienced in these matters to venture upon such an undertaking? Why not leave it to the “experts” and get along to the open day of your nearest school?
Challenging established wisdom
However expertise is not everything and, in many fundamental areas of life, counts for little.
In matters of right and wrong, truth and falsehood, in the values we embrace, in the relationships which frame our lives, in the choice, in so far as we can exercise it, of those to whose care we entrust our children, we, as parents, have to make up our own minds and judge as best we can.
We wish to react in a constructive way to a range of disquiets about the educational prospects for our children. We look back with admiration to a period of greater confidence and consensus as to the bodies of knowledge, skills, human and religious values that one generation should transmit to the next. We want our children to be deeply rooted in their Catholic, English and European identities and cultural heritages. Our particular heroes are the great Jesuit educators of the Counter Reformation period who, beginning as a small band, gathered around St. Ignatius Loyola and energised by the clarity, rigour and discipline that was the particular gift of the Council of Trent to our Faith, had by the middle of the 17th century established 600 schools across Europe.
Our own – more modest – ambition is to establish just one school under the patronage of St. Joseph that will give expression to our educational values and aspirations. We intend to open for Reception and years 1 and 2 and , in each subsequent year, to extend the establishment’s remit to cater for increasingly older children.