Saint John Bosco College

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Saint John Bosco College's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Saint John Bosco College is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles

Highlighting best practice
Head teacher Paul Dunne
embodies the spirit of our school
Saint John Bosco College in the
heart of the Battersea community
St John Bosco College (SJBC) is a vibrant 11-18 Roman
Catholic school, part of the worldwide family of Salesian
schools, located in the heart of Battersea, London. Though
founded in 2011, the school is built on a religious and educational
tradition stretching back to the 19th century when the Salesian
founder, St John Bosco, first established his “Oratario” in
Turin, Italy, on the principles of high educational standards and
sound moral and religious education. Head teacher Paul Dunne
discusses here how the ideals, innovations and teachings of Don
Bosco inform everything taught within the school and how this
Salesian ethos makes the pupils of SJBC happy, healthy and
prepared for the challenges of the world after school.
The innovation of Don Bosco
We are a voluntary-aided school within the trusteeship of the Salesians of Don Bosco
and the Archdiocese of Southwark. At the heart of our ethos is the teaching of the
Catholic Church and the educational approach of Saint John Bosco. The educational
philosophy of Don Bosco can be condensed into three words – reason, religion and
kindness. The basic principle of his system was a deep understanding and love for
young people and their problems. His motto, “It is not enough for every child to be
loved, they must know that they are loved”, embodies his approach perfectly.
Our school ethos is summed up by “RUAH” – Respect, Understanding, Affection and
Humour. These four principles underpin every aspect of our school life and together
spell out the Hebrew word for “breath of life” or “spirit”. This emphasis on humour
»Head teacher: Paul Dunne
»Founded in 2011
»Based in Battersea,
»Type of school: Voluntary-
aided secondary school
within the trusteeship of the
Salesians of Don Bosco and
the Archdiocese of Southwark
»No. of students: 600
»No. of staff: 75
»We offer many extracurricular
activities supported by willing
staff, from lunchtime to after-
school clubs, both academic
and leisure based
St John Bosco College
»Being part of the local community is important to us. At harvest festival, for example, we were pleased to be
able to donate supplies to Wandsworth Foodbank.
»You will find Salesians in schools of all kinds, youth clubs and homes for homeless or abandoned children;
working with street children; working as missionaries; working as chaplains in schools, colleges and universities;
and doing parish work. There are currently almost 16,000 members (priests and brothers) in the congregation,
working in 131 countries around the world. Currently in the British Province there are 63 Salesians of Don
Bosco based in six communities.
»We have partner schools located in Farnborough, Chertsey, Liverpool and Bolton in the UK and regularly receive
visits from partner schools in Spain, Italy, Slovakia and further afield.
and enjoyment in education can be
found in the words of Don Bosco
himself: “Servite Domino In Laetitia” –
serve the Lord joyfully.
Providing the best for our pupils
Our positive Salesian ethos helps to
create an environment within which
pupils can thrive and make excellent
academic progress as well as enjoying a
school life that is supported by prayer,
worship, celebration of the Eucharist
and excellent chaplaincyprovision.
Children requiring additional help
with their academic studies receive
personalised care and guidance from
our dedicated staff who work out of
our St Francis learning support base,
named after St Francis de Sales, the
gentle saint who inspired StJohnBosco.
We are also proud of our specialist
provision for children with autism.
Our Savio base, named after
SaintDominicSavio, a student of Don
Bosco, allows a small group of pupils
to access the curricular activities of
the main school with the appropriate
level of support, while providing a
place, and staff expertise, to meet their
Our history
While SJBC only opened in September
2011, there has been a rich tradition
of Catholic Education in Battersea
since the opening of Salesian College
in 1895. SJBC was formed in the same
year that both Salesian College and
John Paul II School closed. The school
was temporarily based in Princes Way,
West Hill, while our current, state-of-
the-art facilities were built in Parkham
Street – the heart of Battersea.
Within two years of opening the school
was rated “good” by Ofsted, and it
received a similar rating for its distinct
Catholic ethos a few months later from
the RC Archdiocese of Southwark. The
school moved into its current home in
October 2015 and formally opened at
a ceremony attended by Archbishop
Peter Smith of Southwark in November
2015. Ofsted again rated the school
“good” in May 2017. Chaplain Fr Saju John
SDB with our new
school RUAH logo
Our school
ethos is
summed up by
“RUAH” –
Affection and
Highlighting best practice
These changes in location have, at times,
proved challenging and demanding,
particularly in maintaining both parental
and community confidence. Pupils, often
with multifaceted needs, commonly join
our school in-year from other localities.
At the heart of the community
There has been a Salesian presence in
south London stretching back to 1887.
Together with the Salesian House
next to the school and the parish
church of Sacred Heart just around
the corner, we form an important
part of the local, as well as extended,
churchcommunity. Our wider school
community is made up of parents,
governors and other partners of the
school. We believe that working in
partnership with these groups can help
to grow and develop the school even
more for the benefit of our children.
Hopes and thoughts for the
GCSE performance has been strong
with pupils making positive progress
overall. Among the highlights was
achieving 100 per cent A*-C in GCSE
triple science and GCSE Spanish. We
were also delighted with our record
A-level results in 2017, with 45 per
cent of grades being A*-B. We have
doubled the number of pupils getting
into Russell Group universities and every
student has achieved a university place.
Educating the heart is the key
to excellence
Only when a school radiates an
atmosphere of deep appreciation,
mutual respect and genuine affection
can excellent academic, spiritual, moral
and physical education occur.
Developing young people is at
our school’s core
Our purpose is to fulfil the extraordinary
human and spiritual potential of each
student. As they grow, we offer them
the knowledge and skills necessary to
engage creatively in the lifelong task of
growing to human and spiritual maturity.
Education to the faith marks
us as different
We see education as a fundamental
part of a spiritual quest to which all
teaching and learning contributes. We
offer our pupils the experience of being
part of a living Catholic community
where faith, life and learning are
integrated. We prepare them to
become valuable members of society,
able to earn their living and contribute
to the common good. Prayer, worship
and the sacraments form the context
for religious education and encourage
the engagement of pupils in practical
outreach to those less fortunate than
Young people
are that part
of humanity,
so dear to
God and so
rich in
St John Bosco
Pupils with their
generous harvest
festival donations to
Wandsworth Foodbank

This article was sponsored by Saint John Bosco College. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from The Rt Hon Theresa May MP.

The Rt Hon Theresa May MP's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By The Rt Hon Theresa May MP

This foreword from the then Prime Minister appeared in the 2018/19 Parliamentary Review.

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review. For Her Majesty’s Government, our task in the year ahead is clear: to achieve the best Brexit deal for Britain and to carry on our work to build a more prosperous and united country – one that truly works for everyone. 

The right Brexit deal will not be sufficient on its own to secure a more prosperous future for Britain. We also need to ensure that our economy is ready for what tomorrow will bring. Our Modern Industrial Strategy is our plan to do that. It means Government stepping up to secure the foundations of our productivity: providing an education system that delivers the skills our economy needs, improving school standards and transforming technical education; delivering infrastructure for growth; ensuring people have the homes they need in the places they want to live. It is all about taking action for the long-term that will pay dividends in the future.

But it also goes beyond that. Government, the private sector and academia working together as strategic partners achieve far more than we could separately. That is why we have set an ambitious goal of lifting UK public and private research and development investment to 2.4 per cent of GDP by 2027. It is why we are developing four Grand Challenges, the big drivers of social and economic change in the world today: harnessing artificial intelligence and the data revolution; leading in changes to the future of mobility; meeting the challenges of our ageing society; and driving ahead the revolution in clean growth. By focusing our efforts on making the most of these areas of enormous potential, we can develop new exports, grow new industries and create more good jobs in every part of our country.

Years of hard work and sacrifice from the British people have got our deficit down by over three quarters. We are building on this success by taking a balanced approach to public spending. We are continuing to deal with our debts, so that our economy can remain strong and we can protect people’s jobs, and at the same time we are investing in vital public services, like our NHS. We have set out plans to increase NHS funding annually by an average by 3.4 percent in real terms: that is £394 million a week more. In return, the NHS will produce a ten-year plan, led by doctors and nurses, to eliminate waste and improve patient care.

I believe that Britain can look to the future with confidence. We are leaving the EU and setting a new course for prosperity as a global trading nation. We have a Modern Industrial Strategy that is strengthening the foundations of our economy and helping us to seize the opportunities of the future. We are investing in the public services we all rely on and helping them to grow and improve. Building on our country’s great strengths – our world-class universities and researchers, our excellent services sector, our cutting edge manufacturers, our vibrant creative industries, our dedicated public servants – we can look towards a new decade that is ripe with possibility. The government I lead is doing all it can to make that brighter future a reality for everyone in our country. 

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review 
The Rt Hon Theresa May MP
Prime Minister