...for a conference sponsored by the Catholic Union, on the subject of Catholic schools. A large attendance, mostly teachers, with school governors, clergy, and representatives from various organisations. Speakers included Professor Gerald Grace who gave a detailed and effective defence of the right of the Church to run Catholic schools, and to have support from public funds in so doing. His talk was an analysis of a paper he originally delivered to the - somewhat hostile! - Socialist Education Conference. We also heard from Dr Andrew Morris, whose excellent book Fifty Years On: The Case for Catholic Schools I read on the way home and warmly recommend. I was impressed by the quality of the people at the conference - there are some great teachers out there. An atmosphere of realism about the day-to-day life of Catholic schools in modern Britain, a sense of honesty and openess in discussion, lots of good humour, an absence of jargon or cliches.
Liverpool Hope University was created from various teacher-training colleges, Anglican and Catholic, and has a rather fine set of buildings set in green lawns and with a peaceful atmosphere. It was a good place to be discussing these things.