Bishop Joseph Devine, President of the Catholic Education Commission today announced that Mr. Michael McGrath had been selected as the first Director of the Catholic Education Service. At a press conference in the Catholic Media Office in Glasgow, Bishop Devine said:

"In appointing a director of a new Catholic Education Service,(CES) the Church seeks to focus its efforts in promoting Catholic education by recruiting a professional educationalist who can provide strategic direction for its work throughout the country."

He added;  
"Michael McGrath is a professional educationalist of the highest standing glowing testimony to his leadership and motivational skills can be seen in the recent very favourable HMI report on of Our Lady's High School in Cumbernauld. Michael's commitment to the work of the Catholic Church in Scotland is well demonstrated. The Bishops of Scotland are delighted he has accepted this position and look forward to a long and fruitful collaboration"

In accepting the new post, Mr.McGrath who is currently headteacher of Our Lady's High School in Cumbernauld said:

"I am honoured and delighted and to have been selected by the Bishops to establish this new service which will offer significant support to teachers. I am greatly looking forward to an exciting opportunity to work in partnership with colleagues across the country. We are all committed to making an important contribution to the welfare of Scotland and, especially, of its young people." He added: "My first task as Director will be to establish the Scottish Catholic Education Service as a support service for teachers and schools. This will involve preparing courses and materials which will help teachers to develop their own understanding of faith issues within an educational context. No doubt, various challenges lie ahead in future discussions at a national level with politicians and officials on matters relating to Catholic education in Scotland. I am very keen to establish good working relationships with all the major stakeholders in Scottish education."

The apponitment follows a feasability study and detailed discussion between the Catholic Education Commission and the Bishops' Conference of Scotland over a period of five years.

Michael McGrath
B.A. (Hons.) M.Litt.

Michael was born on 27 October 1952 and is 50 years of age. He and his wife are parents to four children. They live in Rutherglen, near Glasgow. Michael completed his secondary education at Holy Cross High School in Hamilton. Thereafter he studied English Studies at the University of Strathclyde where he was awarded the degree of B.A. (Hons.) in 1974 and the postgraduate degree of M.Litt. in 1981 for a thesis on the work of Orcadian writer George Mackay Brown. He gained a teaching qualification (with
Distinction) at Notre Dame College of Education, Glasgow in 1975. Michael has taught in Catholic schools in Glasgow and Lanarkshire for 28 years, latterly working as Depute Head Teacher in Holyrood Secondary, Glasgow and most recently completing 7 years as Head Teacher of Our Lady's High School in Cumbernauld. Having been a member of the Catholic Education Commission for 12 years, three as Vice-Chair, he was appointed Chairperson in September 2002.


Peter Kearney
Catholic Media Office
0141 221 1168

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