Raymond Friel

After graduating from Glasgow University in English Literature and Language and completing his PGCE at Aberystwyth University, Raymond took up his first teaching post at St. Charles Sixth Form College, North Kensington, in 1990. He was appointed Head of English at St. Augustine’s in Trowbridge in 1996 where he was promoted to the senior management team. In 2002, he was appointed Headteacher of St. Joseph’s Catholic School in Salisbury and in 2004 as Headteacher of St. Gregory’s Catholic College in Bath where he served until 2016. St. Gregory’s was judged Outstanding both by Ofsted and Clifton Diocese in 2008 and 2013, and in 2013 opened a sixth form with a major capital development on the site. He was a National Leader of Education from 2009 to 2016 and an Ofsted inspector from 2015. He took up the role of General Secretary of CISC in September 2016.

Raymond has published several collections of poetry including Seeing the River (Polygon, 1995) and Stations of the Heart (Salt, 2008) and co-edited the influential literary review Southfields from 1995 until 2000. With Sister Judith Russi he co-authored the best-selling How to Survive Working in a Catholic School (Redemptorist Publications, 2013). He followed that up with How to Survive in Leadership in a Catholic School (2015), The Revolution of Tenderness: Being a Catholic in Today’s Church (2016) and Gospel Values for Catholic Schools (2017), all from Redemptorist Publications. In addition to his writing, he has interviewed some of the leading voices in the Catholic Church today, such as Timothy Radcliffe, Eamon Duffy and Sr. Gemma Simmonds, in the CD series The Hope That is in You, also from Redemptorists.

Raymond is married to Janet, who is an artist and art teacher. They have three sons, all of whom are now at university.