The Catholic Education Service (CES) is an agency of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales (CBCEW). It works closely with the CBCEW Department for Education and Formation and represents the Bishops’ national education policy in relation to the 2300 Catholic schools, colleges and university colleges for which the Church is responsible across England and Wales.

Contributions to RE

Religious education is central to the curriculum of the Catholic school and is at the heart of the philosophy of Catholic education. Religious education has developed in a way that reflects the particular identity of our Catholic schools in England and Wales. It teaches about the faith in the context of a school which proclaims the Gospel, and invites the individual to respond to the message of Christ. As the individual responds to this invitation, growth in faith and knowledge helps the pupil to respond to the call to holiness and understand the fullness of what it is to be human. For some, then, Religious education will also be received as evangelisation and for some, catechesis. The CES is responsible for implementing the policies of the Bishops’ Conference with regard to the principles and content of classroom Religious education, and works closely with the 22 dioceses of England and Wales who monitor provision and give support locally.

Within England and Wales, the CES liaises with the Church of England’s National Society, the Church in Wales and other faith groups, to ensure that, where appropriate, the different faith communities speak with one voice on educational issues of mutual concern.