The Douay Martyrs RC Secondary School

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by The Douay Martyrs RC Secondary School'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 The Douay Martyrs RC Secondary School 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

Head teacher Anthony Corish
Students enjoy a broad and popular
extra-curricular programme
The Douay Martyrs Catholic Secondary School has served
the Catholic community of the London Borough of
Hillingdon for over 50 years, welcoming Catholic students
and those from other faith backgrounds. The school’s students
are drawn from the London Borough of Hillingdon, from
neighbouring boroughs and Buckinghamshire. Anthony Corish,
head teacher at Douay Martyrs, explains the advantages to
pupils of a strong faith-based ethos.
At Douay Martyrs, we are motivated by the example of the original Douay Martyrs
and by our school motto, “Through faith to success”. We aim to support all of
our diverse student body to fulfil their endless potential. What attracts parents
and students to our school is its obvious Catholicity which creates an inclusive and
welcoming school with Christ at its centre. At Douay Martyrs, all students have
the opportunity to practise and discuss their faith in a progressive and supportive
environment. We believe in faith in action, so our ethos permeates all that we do.
We have developed a caring environment and a strong relationship between staff,
students and families which we call “walk with me”, our way of supporting our
young people and their families throughout their time with us.
Inspiring students in the development of their faith
Another key element of our strong Catholic ethos is our belief in excellence for
all, voiced in our unique “Douay way” which continually raises expectations and
aspirations. We have introduced an “aiming for excellence” evening for parents
»Head teacher: Mr Anthony
Corish since 2015
»Chair of governors: MrsMichele
»Chair of DOWAT: Kate Griffin
»Founded in 1962
»Based in Ickenham, Hillingdon
»Type of school: Mixed
academy for students aged
11–19, part of the Diocese of
Westminster Academy Trust
»No. of students: 1360
»No. of teaching staff: 86
»No. of support staff: 65
»Ofsted: “Good”, 2018 and
»Pupil premium: 26 per cent
»2017 Progress 8 score: +0.03
»2017 Attainment 8 score: 48.8
The Douay Martyrs Catholic
Secondary School
Highlighting best practice
of all age groups. Here, we share a
“road map” to success which enables
them to understand our expectations
of all students, staff and parents
working in partnership. These popular
innovations have resulted in significant
oversubscription for places in year 7.
This focus on excellence is not for
reasons of self-gratification. We follow
the words of John Henry Cardinal
Newman: “God has created me to do
him some definitive service, he has
committed some work to me which he
has not committed to another”.
In this way, we expect our students to
develop personally and socially as well
as academically.
Stewardship, a focus on using one’s
talents for the common good, is integral
to our school life. All sixth formers
participate in a specific faith in action
programme with activities such as:
»peer mentoring
»participating in reading programmes
»working in care homes
»assisting in local primary schools.
Annually, students and staff raise
£10,000 for various charities. We
support and raise funds for:
»local children’s hospitals
»the local food bank appeal
»homeless charities
»The Catholic Children’s Society
»CAFOD and their partners.
Sixth form leadership
We organise a popular Christmas
lunch and entertainment for local
senior citizens. We are also quick to
respond to local tragedies; in 2017,
our head boy, Ricky Patel, galvanised
our community in support of victims
of the Grenfell fire. Sixth formers also
organise charity music evenings and
the annual “Rag week”, among other
things. We aim to raise awareness
of local and global issues as well as
Our commitment to service was
recognised in 2017, when the school
was awarded the prestigious Cardinal
Hume Award of Contribution to the
Common Good.
A key priority for us is the
development of community links.
We organise an innovative “parental
engagement programme” where
senior staff co-ordinate workshops
focused on helping parents
support the academic progress of
their children. Through our active
membership of our diocese and
academy trust we share good practice
and CPD while our links with primary
schools and parishes support our
successful year 6 to 7 transition.
This year’s head boy
Faith at the core of our
Our school
Through faith
to success
Another key element in our relentless
pursuit of school improvement
has been the high priority given to
student voice and leadership. We have
an active school council and have
developed an extensive sixth form
leadership and school ambassador
programme involving students from
years 7 to 13. Ambassadors lead
assemblies, meet governors and sit
on interview panels. We have trained
mental health and LGBT ambassadors
who lead peer mentoring groups and
assemblies. Students also run their
own regular peer counselling drop
in. An important component of our
school success is the seriousness with
which we view the student voice.
The leadership group and student
ambassadors have a joint annual one-
day conference to share and discuss
school priorities.
We are also fully involved in the Jack
Petchey Award Programme, Youth
Speaks Out and the Youth Parliament,
all of which contribute to raising
the cultural capital of our students –
another key priority.
The “Douay way” living life to
the full
Raising aspiration has also been very
important for the school. Our diverse
student body often faces significant
challenges and students can often
be the first family member to have a
realistic chance of higher education.
To this end, we have a strong focus
on personal and social capital.
We have an extensive additional
curriculum programme enabling
students to participate in a range
»in-house deep learning days
»a wide range of extra-curricular
sports teams
»DofE Award; National Citizen Service
»afterschool clubs
»visits to London’s theatres and
»residential visits to USA, Spain and
First World War battlefields.
This heightening of ambition and
desire to continually improve has
already had an impact on student
outcomes and aspiration and
has contributed to the increasing
oversubscription of the school.
This is only the start. Systematic
refurbishment of the campus to
improve our learning environment is
already underway. We have developed
a new senior school library, plan to
refurbish and extend the lower school
library and have been successful with a
PSBP2 bid to refurbish the oldest part
of the campus.
Our ambitious and innovative
approach is continued with a “Period
5” programme which builds targeted
intervention, student leadership
opportunities and wider curriculum
opportunities into the school day.
“The Douay way” permeates
everything we do. We aim to
deliver the best possible education
in a Catholic learning environment
to enable our students to take
their place with confidence in a
Thank you for
all of the
support you’ve
given me over
the last five
years. You have
really motivated
me to work
hard and given
me so much
Year 11 student
We believe all students
should have the
opportunity to experience
the creative arts

This article was sponsored by The Douay Martyrs RC Secondary School. 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 Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng.

Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng

This year’s Parliamentary Review reflects on a tumultuous and extraordinary year, globally and nationally. As well as being an MP, I am a keen student of history, and I am conscious that 2020 would mark the end of an era. It will be remembered as the year in which we concluded Brexit negotiations and finally left the European Union. Above all, it will be remembered as the year of Covid-19.

In our fight against the pandemic, I am delighted that our vaccination programme is beginning to turn the tide – and I pay tribute to the British businesses, scientists and all those who have helped us to achieve this. But the virus has dealt enormous damage, and we now have a duty to rebuild our economy.

We must ensure that businesses are protected. We have made more than £350 billion available to that end, with grants, business rates relief and our furlough scheme supporting more than 11 million people and jobs in every corner of the country, maintaining livelihoods while easing the pressure on employers. The next step is to work with business to build back better and greener, putting the net zero carbon challenge at the heart of our recovery. This is a complex undertaking, but one which I hope will be recognised as a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Through the prime minister’s ten point plan for a green industrial revolution, we can level up every region of the UK, supporting 250,000 green jobs while we accelerate our progress towards net zero carbon emissions.

With our commitment to raise R&D spending to 2.4% of GDP and the creation of the Advanced Research & Invention Agency, we are empowering our fantastic researchers to take on groundbreaking research, delivering funding with flexibility and speed. With this approach, innovators will be able to work with our traditional industrial heartlands to explore new technologies, and design and manufacture the products on which the future will be built – ready for export around the globe.

And I believe trade will flourish. We are a leading nation in the fight against climate change. As the host of COP26 this year, we have an incredible opportunity to market our low-carbon products and expertise. Our departure from the EU gives us the chance to be a champion of truly global free trade; we have already signed trade deals with more than 60 countries around the world.

As we turn the page and leave 2020 behind, I am excited about the new chapter which Britain is now writing for itself, and for the opportunities which lie ahead of us.
Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy