The purpose of the School is best expressed in the words of Cardinal Manning, which appear in the preamble to our Mission Statement: we seek ‘the formation of the whole man, his intellect, his heart, his character and his soul.’ At a fundamental level, then, my vision for what this Catholic school should (and can) achieve is in a sense pre-packaged. My aim is to make this ideal a reality.
The Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School is an academy in the Archdiocese of Westminster; it has a strong Catholic ethos, a pan-London intake, a tradition of outstanding academic outcomes and a strong regard for good behaviour, self-discipline and self-improvement among its pupils, whatever their background or ability. I aim to preserve these unchanging ideals in the context of a rapidly changing world. I want the school to be progressive in the truest sense; in other words, we must identify and retain the best of the old and graft this to the best of the new, so that the foundations on which our pupils’ progress is built are strong and lasting. This, in practice, will entail a remorseless focus on tailoring our practice to suit the multifold needs of our pupils, whatever their ability, so that their development – be it academic, spiritual, social, moral, sporting or aesthetic – is as firmly embedded and lasting as possible.
This will require a blend of intellectual coherence, intelligent recalibration of existing good practice to ensure lasting improvement, energetic action and systematic monitoring to ensure that the needs of a changing intake are constantly met. For the whole school community, it demands (and, hopefully, entails) unity of purpose.