Catholic schools are expected to be places of evangelical mission providing formation in faith and spiritual accompaniment, places where the experiences offered to young people can lead to “encounters” with Jesus Christ. Addressing this vision requires teachers who share common values and can support the presentation of a life of faith as an attractive option for young people. To accompany young people on their journeys of faith, teachers themselves need support to develop the relevant professional skills and understanding. So, it is appropriate to consider how the professional learning of teachers in Catholic schools might be supported in particular ways.
A Catholic school CLPL strategy, entitled Companions on the Journey, is designed to encourage teachers, school leaders and others to nurture a particular culture of professional development for teachers. This culture is distinguished by its recognition of teachers’ personal religious needs being part of their professional learning needs within schools which are communities of faith and learning. This strategy also recognises the CLPL needs of some teachers in Catholic schools who may belong to other religious traditions and others who do not espouse any religious convictions. These teachers may require particular support to enable them to develop their own understanding of the mission and traditions of Catholic education and of how they can make appropriate contributions as members of Catholic school communities.