11th April 2018 - Letter from the CEO


Dear Parents and Carers,

I would like to introduce myself to you as the Chief Executive Officer of the new St Ralph Sherwin Catholic Multi Academy Trust. From 1st September 2018 St Philip Howard will be joining together with 24 other Catholic primary and secondary schools from Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Derby City, Staffordshire and Stockport. This new Trust will provide wonderful opportunities for all the schools to work collaboratively, share what they do well as well as address the areas where they are not as successful.

I am currently Headteacher at the Trinity Catholic school in Nottingham, having previously spent 18 years working at senior leadership level in 4 different schools. I have been headteacher for the last 10 years in two outstanding Catholic schools, including headteacher at St Mary’s Catholic High School in Chesterfield.

As a Headteacher my motivation has always been the belief that children have only one chance with their education and we have to get it right. As a practicing Catholic with children who attended Catholic schools, I have experienced first-hand how a Catholic education can help develop both spiritual and moral growth within not only children, but also within their families. We all know that working with young people is a privilege. Schools are special places where we get the chance to improve the lives of young people in a unique way. The best schools are places where we develop young minds; we must focus on growth not just in the brain but the growth of character, the development of the whole person. These beliefs and values, which I have had as a Headteacher will also be my motivation as your CEO.

In terms of what happens next, I am still Headteacher of the Trinity Catholic school in Nottingham and will remain so until 31st August. Over the next term we shall be making a number of appointments to the Trust to ensure that the necessary support is in place for all our schools.  As the Trust covers such a wide geographical area, we shall have bases in both Glossop and Derby. Our aspiration is for our schools to retain their individual character and local focus. We have no intention of, for example, changing uniform.

The most important element of the new Trust is that it is a Catholic organisation, putting the life and teachings of Jesus Christ at the heart of what we do. The Catholic identity of our schools and chaplaincy are key priorities as we move forward. Our new community will work together to teach the word of God, to inspire our children and young people to live out their faith and to be active participants in a living faith community.

Although my role does not officially start until September, I have already visited some and hope to visit the remainder of our 25 schools during this next term, to get to know staff and meet as many of the children and young people as possible.

I look forward to getting to know the community of St Philip Howard over the coming months and years.

Yours faithfully


Sean McClafferty

CEO designate, St Ralph Sherwin Catholic Multi-Academy Trust