Schools unite in raising over £46,000 for charity

The Painsley Catholic Academy is delighted to announce that it has now raised over £46,000 for CAFOD (Catholic Agency for Overseas Development) - the international development charity.
In March 2023, the Painsley Catholic Academy made a payment of £16,000 relating to the previous Christmas fundraising. A second payment of £30,000 was made this February relating to Christmas 2023 fundraising in the 16 schools.

All schools, large and small, primary and secondary, and all children from age 4 to 18 supported these amazing fundraising efforts reflecting our commitment to Catholic Social Teaching in action.

Pupils took part in a range of fundraisers, from sponsored walks to Christmas jumper days, cake sales, non-uniform days and creating luxury hampers to be raffled. The children at St Giles’ in Cheadle enjoyed collecting loose change and staff and children at St Anne’s Catholic Primary School in Stafford ran a Santa Dash.

Mr Stephen Bell, Chief Executive Officer commented, "As a Catholic community, we teach all of our children to care for each other, particularly the most vulnerable. The world faces many challenges and we are proud to support those who are less fortunate than ourselves. We must work together to build a better world for the future. Taking part in these joint fundraising activities is a great way of doing this and CAFOD World Gifts really make our pupils appreciate the impact that they can have. Our pupils, of all ages, really enjoy coming up with new and fun ideas to raise these funds.

“As our ongoing commitment to the preferential option for the poor, we are now fundraising for Fr Hudson’s Care. It is a wonderful charity that provides crucial and extremely diverse to support people with a range of needs – from providing the only Catholic residential care home in the Archdiocese for people suffering from dementia, to offering a welcome lifeline for thousands of refugees and asylum seekers each year.”


St Patrick’s gets gold award

St Patrick’s Catholic Primary School in Stafford is celebrating being awarded the Artsmark Gold Award. This prestigious award recognises schools for their exceptional commitment to creativity and is accredited by Arts Council England. It is the only award for arts and culture provision in England. In the report, the Artsmark assessor comments, “You are rightly proud of your recent Oftsed inspection result, where the arts were singled out as exceptional. Part of what makes your approach work is your commitment to connecting arts learning to real world contexts. For example, you have ensured pupils have visited the Lowry Museum twice, the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery, painted ‘en plein air’ at Shugborough (National Trust), Wightwick Manor (National Trust) and on location in your small county town. You also secured a whole school National Trust membership. As part of your whole school strategy each year group must visit a site and experience an ‘Art on Location’ trip, and this enriches the way children learn and helps imprint the content and skills by embedding it within a broader experiential endeavour.” Principal at St Patrick’s, Mr Mark Brandon, said, “I am delighted with this achievement and what it means for our children. It is safe to say that our pupils really do love art! We have also seen that developing pupils’ creativity has impacted on other areas of learning in school and at home. In other areas such as RE, we have seen improved responses to scripture through poetry, drawing and painting.“ St Patrick’s is part of The Painsley Catholic Academy, and is the specialist hub school for art which means other schools within the academy will benefit from their expertise. Mark continued, “An important point to note, is that our commitment to the arts has not only benefited the 200 pupils at our school, but our planning and strategic direction has also impacted positively on hundreds of other pupils across our local Multi-Academy, as they follow our guidance and planning. This is an incredible achievement and one that we know will having a lasting impact.”

A hat-trick of success for St Filumena’s Catholic Primary School

A hat-trick of success for St Filumena’s Catholic Primary School

St Filumena’s Catholic Primary School, in Caverswall, has received three different accolades for academic achievements from the Minister of Schools, Rt Hon Damien Hinds, MP.

The first letter of congratulations recognised the school as being in the top 1% of primary schools nationally for the end of primary school achievement. This considers the progress that pupils make between the start and end of Key Stage 2.

The second one was for being in the top 200 schools nationally for the Year 4 multiplication check. This letter states, “Your average pupil score of 24.7 out of 25 makes St Filumena’s Catholic Primary School one of the top 200 performing schools in England for the multiplication tables check. The excellent achievement of your pupils is something the Government hopes to see replicated in schools across the country…..I would like to congratulate your staff and pupils for their hard work and thank you for your leadership in continuing to promote the important subject of mathematics.”

The final letter was to congratulate the school for being in the top 1% of primary schools nationally for Year 1 phonics, with 100 percent of pupils in Year 1 at St Filumena’s meeting the expected standard. An excerpt from this letter states, “Your particular success in teaching phonics and early reading so effectively means your pupils are developing a firm foundation, from which they can become increasingly fluent and develop a lifelong love of reading.”

Mr Edward Howard, Executive Principal at St Filumena’s commented, “ I am delighted to have received this recognition and would like to thank our pupils, staff and parents who all work together to create a harmonious and supportive environment in which all can flourish. We have a broad and balanced curriculum and ensure that even our youngest learners are fully engaged with stimulating topics that make learning fun. To have achieved these results in not just one area, but across the board for literacy and mathematics is an amazing achievement.”


St Giles’ ranks among the top 200 schools in the country for multiplication

St Giles’ Catholic Primary School, in Cheadle, has received a letter of congratulations from the Minister for schools for its outstanding results with students learning and understanding their times tables. The school averaged a score of 24.1 out of 25, placing it in the top 200 schools for its results. The letter, from Rt Hon Damian Hinds, MP, states, “Knowing times tables is vital for school and day-to-day life. Recalling multiplication and division facts up to 12x12 is important for progression in Maths…… I would like both to congratulate your staff and pupils for their hard work and to thank you for your leadership in continuing to promote the important subject of mathematics.” Mrs Gill Wretham, Executive Principal at St Giles' said, “We are delighted to have received this letter as recognition of our outstanding results. At St Giles', we always aim to make learning as engaging as possible and really try to bring all elements of the curriculum to life. To be in the top 200 schools with our multiplication checks is a wonderful achievement. With approximately 16,780 primary schools in the country, this places us firmly in the top 2%.”

New Principal Takes Over at St Austin’s Catholic Primary School

New Principal Takes Over at St Austin's Catholic Primary School

The staff and pupils at St Austin’s Catholic Primary School in Stafford are delighted to welcome their new Principal, Mrs Charlotte Rowley, to the school.  Mrs Rowley was appointed following the retirement of Mrs Michele Hoyle who spent 14 years as the Head of School at St Austin’s.
On her retirement, Michele said “The school has a wonderful reputation in the community.  I will miss you all, particularly the happy smiling faces of the children and the laughter we shared every day. I am sure you will offer Mrs Rowley the same support you have shown me.”
Charlotte was previously Deputy Headteacher at St Gregory's school in Longton and prior to that  was Acting Principal at St Maria Goretti Catholic Primary Academy in Stoke-on-Trent.  She originally trained to be a secondary English teacher and worked in high schools for a number of years as a teacher and senior leader. A key part of her role was transition from primary to secondary education, which she says influenced her decision to move to primary school leadership. Charlotte’s first teaching role was at Painsley Catholic College in Cheadle, so she brings with her knowledge of the Painsley Catholic Academy and how all schools in the MAC work together.
Charlotte commented, “I want all children to be well-rounded, happy individuals. As a Catholic school, St Austin’s will continue to focus on developing the whole child - spiritually and academically, as well as ensuring that they are fulfilled through enrichment opportunities and experiences. I wish for all children to look back in fondness at their time with us, but also look ahead in readiness for the next steps in their educational journey and continue to thrive!”
The Directors of The Painsley Catholic Academy, governors, staff and children at St Austin’s wish to thank Mrs Hoyle for her years of dedicated service to Catholic education and in particular, her service at St Austin's.

Parent Communication Charter

We believe that exceptional communication skills enhance the spiritual development, the life chances and opportunities of all in the community
ParentsKey points
General ethosRelevant Painsley MAC Values: People Really Matter! The very best learning opportunities for our pupils An outstanding partnership with parents that is built on trust and respect   Associated Gospel value: dignity and compassion Associated Catholic Social Teaching: dignity of work and rights of the workers  
Relationships  We aim to develop a partnership with all of our parents.  We believe in your child and will do all we can to work with you. This is something that happens continually.  All staff, from the Principal down, are happy to meet you at a mutually convenient time.
Advice and guidanceWe provide practical strategies to support learning at home so parents work in partnership with us in terms of their child’s spiritual, social and academic development.
CommunicationsWe tailor school communications to encourage positive communication about your child’s learning throughout the year.  We will not simply give you information but we aim to actively seek out information from you about your child.
Your child’s learningYour survey responses tell us that you do not always feel that you are being updated about what your child is learning in class.  Therefore, as a MAC family, we will be trialling strategies to keep you regularly informed about what your child is learning in class so you can have discussions about the subject content.  Please do let us know your thoughts about the strategies/any possible suggestions.
Parents’ eveningsParents’ evenings are a positive experience that build on the belief that your child can succeed.  We offer practical advice for what your child needs to do to develop work/approach to school life.
Additional supportParents know their child best.  Therefore, we ask that parents contact school if there are any issues of concern and we will give additional support as necessary. We all want the best for your child.
ReportsWe time reports so they are meaningful and inform you of the way forward.  We will be honest about any barriers in terms of your child’s progress and will offer solutions to these working in partnership with you.
PoliciesWe will always consider (and, where appropriate, involve) parents when drafting policies.  We aim to make policies accessible and easy to understand.  
EmailsWe will respond to emails within 3 working days.  If a matter is urgent, please contact reception and we will speak to you that day. We ask that parents refrain from emailing staff outside the hours of 8-5 Monday to Friday.
UnderstandingAny relationship is built on understanding.  We are limited by law regarding our decisions on certain points such as holidays in term time.  Please respect the legal frameworks we operate in.
AttendanceWe will work with you to ensure that your child attends school regularly and arrives on time.  This is because your child will quickly fall behind if they are not present or are late.  We have busy, fun days! If there are any barriers to your child attending school, please let us know.
PraiseWe appreciate any positive feedback and recognition of our actions.  Please do let us know any positive feedback via email:
Resolutions/ ComplaintsSadly, there are times when relationships can be strained.  Therefore, we have an easy to follow a resolution and complaints procedure.  If a parent is unhappy with any aspect of the school, please follow the policy and we will work together to resolve the issue. For general recommendations on improvements, please email:
Phone callsReception staff will ensure that parents receive a call back on the day of an incoming call.  If this cannot be the case, parents will be called to inform them when the call will be made.  If the matter is urgent, a senior member of staff will either take the call immediately or contact you on the same day.
InductionAll pupils and their families are entitled to a full induction programme consisting of at least an initial meeting and a tour of the school along with sessions in school to ensure you feel fully supported and are happy with your child’s education.
Pupil wellbeingIf you notice any changes in your child at home, please let us know.  We will not tolerate any form of bullying at school and will work with you to ensure your child is not in any harm.  Sometimes, a child behaves differently at home compared to school so it is important you contact us.  We care very much about your child.  We will also regularly signpost you to services that the Local Authority offers.
Staff wellbeingStaff work very hard to support your child.  We ask, in a spirit of positive relationships with our Catholic school, that staff are treated with respect at all times, and we will do the same with you.
Positive behaviourWe strive for a consistent approach to behaviour between parents and the school, for example, by sharing expectations with parents.  Working in partnership provides for a much better understanding between us and benefits your child.
Invites to schoolWe warmly welcome you to visit school throughout the year including the opportunity to visit lessons and understand the strategies we use to maximise learning.
Changes to circumstances at homeWe understand the pressures of life including relationship breakdowns, financial difficulties and other challenges we face.  Please do not hesitate to contact us if you need any support or just a friendly person to talk to!
SurveysWe will carry out an annual survey in order to understand how parents feel about communication with the school and follow up any areas in partnership with parents.
ParishesWe will work with you and the parish so that your child has the opportunity to embrace the word of God.

Two Painsley Catholic Academy High Schools Top the Tables!

Data released today places two of The Painsley Catholic Academy high schools in the top five schools in Staffordshire.  Painsley Catholic College is ranked as the best performing school in the Staffordshire Moorlands area and the second best performing high school in terms of progress in the whole of Staffordshire with the highest attainment.  Blessed William Howard Catholic High School is celebrating being the number one school in Stafford as well as coming in the top five performing high schools in Staffordshire.
The key measure used for high schools is the Progress 8 score – this is the measure of progress that students make between Y6 and Y11 at GCSE across all subjects and ultimately establishes whether the individual has progressed at, above or below the expected level.  The higher the Progress 8 score, the better the performance of the students.  A score of zero means that the school's pupils progressed at a rate in line with the average rate of progression of other children across the country who achieved similar results at the end of Key Stage 2.
A score above zero means that school's pupils have progressed more than children across the country who achieved similar results at the end of Key Stage 2.
Painsley Catholic College’s score has been confirmed as +0.72 and Blessed William Howard's score is +0.57 both of these scores are officially defined as ‘well above average’.
Mr Stephen Bell, CEO of The Painsley Catholic Academy said, “This is such a great achievement for our students and I am delighted with the result.  Nationally, the proportion of GCSE entries awarded top grades has fallen for 2023 with the impact of Covid still having an effect.  However, The Painsley Catholic Academy students have continued to achieve their full potential.  This is thanks to the hard work of all our staff, students, parents, governors and directors and I would like to thank each and every one of them, showing yet again that we truly are 'better together'.”

Painsley Catholic Academy welcomes Cardinal Griffin College as its newest member school

Painsley Catholic Academy is delighted to announce that as of 1st September, Cardinal Griffin Catholic College, in Cannock, joins the multi academy taking the total number of high schools and sixth forms in the MAC to three, along with the existing 13 primary schools. The move will bring with it countless benefits for the College, including a drive to provide exceptionally high quality and inclusive education – the Painsley MAC delivers high quality education across their schools, including for disadvantaged pupils and pupils with SEND as demonstrated by Ofsted inspections. Cardinal Griffin staff and students will also benefit from having full access to the Teaching School Hub, Maths Hub, Behaviour Hub and Curriculum Hubs at Painsley. The MAC has a proven structure and an excellent track record of school-to-school support to drive school improvement to improve standards across the Painsley family of schools (and beyond) along with successful curriculum models and academic focus with a commitment to a knowledge-rich and evidence-based curriculum. The Painsley MAC has a proven track record of successful leadership from directors and governors. Headteacher at Cardinal Griffin, Mrs Hermione Gibson (a former Senior Leader at Painsley Catholic College) said, "These really are exciting times for our College, and I am looking forward to embarking on our journey to outstanding success." Mr Stephen Bell, Chief Executive Officer of The Painsley Catholic Academy commented, "Cardinal Griffin will be a real asset to our Academy, helping to provide exceptional Catholic education for all. Myself and the other Directors of the MAC are looking forward to working closely with school governors, leaders, staff, students and parents and making them feel welcome as new members of our family." The expansion comes as Blessed William Howard Catholic High School in Stafford, who joined the Painsley MAC in 2018, celebrates its best ever GCSE results and Painsley Catholic College sees yet another set of exam results that place it amongst the top in Staffordshire - proof of The Painsley Catholic Academy motto 'Better Together'.

Painsley Celebrates GCSE results

Students at Painsley Catholic College have achieved above and beyond their potential, reflecting the outstanding quality of education that Painsley offers, as our Ofsted report (May 2022) documents. The GCSE outcomes reflect this success as the College is celebrating an excellent set of GCSE results with 90% of the Year 11 students at the non-selective academy achieving the standard pass (grade 4) in English and 84% in mathematics. Furthermore, the College is delighted with the fact that 81% achieved the standard pass and 63% the strong pass (grade 5) in both English and maths. Indeed, well over a third of all grades were at the higher 7-9 grades.

Staff at the College crafted the curriculum and assessment to tailor the students’ exam preparation. Mrs Waugh, Principal, commented: “I am proud and delighted that the teaching staff worked with such commitment and professionalism to support, guide and reassure the students throughout the academic year. The outcomes of this are evident in the excellent results received by the students.”

Top performances include: Keira Bennett (grade 9 x4, grade 8 x6 and grade 7 x1), Samantha Dalgleish (grade 9 x4, grade 8 x6 and grade 7 x1), James Davies (grade 9 x8, grade 8 x3), Sophia Ferocino (grade 9 x8, grade 8 x2, Distinction * x1), James Howard (grade 9 x10, grade 7 x1), Samuel Mcallister (grade 9 x10, grade 8 x1), Jamie Potts (grade 9 x8, grade 8 x2, grade 7x1), Gracie Turner (grade 9x7, grade 8x3, grade 7 x1).

The students who have made the most significant progress from KS2, averaging 2 or 3 grades higher than the expected standard, include Sebastian Best, Louis Campbell, Oliver Carrington, Alfie Clarke, Joseph Harrison, Rebecca Haynes, Jack Hodge, Madeleine Horne, Grace Sheehan, Luca Worthington-Harris. Special mention must also go to William Simpson who not only achieved fantastic GCSE results, but is also recovering from a heart transplant which he received days after completing his examinations.

Mrs Waugh continued: “I am thrilled to be able to share these phenomenal results with the students. The students have worked with drive and determination throughout the last five years, despite the obvious difficulties they have faced. Regardless of the legacy of disruption to their learning and with little contingency in place they have gone on to shine. I wish the students every success as they continue their journey and I look forward to welcoming the majority of the students into the Painsley’s Outstanding Sixth Form in September (as graded by Ofsted in May 2022). I would like to pay particular thanks to the dedication and commitment of the staff at Painsley, teaching and non-teaching, who constantly provide an exceptional learning experience and willingly go the extra mile on behalf of the students. I am truly grateful to them all for their professionalism. I would like to thank our parents who have supported the students and the staff of the school throughout their time at the College; the effective partnership between home and school is instrumental to the success of the students.”

Painsley Catholic College is the home to The Golden Thread Teaching School Hub, Behaviour hub and Maths hub. In this capacity, Painsley works closely with other schools to ensure the very best practice in relation to teacher recruitment, retention, and professional development and behaviour systems for the benefit of all the students.

Parents interested in sending their child to Painsley should be aware that parents have the opportunity to attend Open Evening on Wednesday 13th September at 6:00pm, which will include a tour of the college, an address by the Principal and an opportunity to discuss questions with the Leadership Group and Senior Student Leaders. To sign up to the Opening evening please visit


Best Ever GCSE Results for BWH!

Blessed William Howard Catholic High School in Stafford is delighted to report that GCSE results have improved again and can confirm today that the 2023 GCSE results are the best in the school’s history.

Mr Karl Brown, Principal, commented, “Students at Blessed William Howard have risen to the many challenges, including the impact of the pandemic. I would like to congratulate the students on their fantastic achievements and resilience. I would also like to thank the staff for their true dedication and commitment, which have enabled students to achieve their true potential. Our students should be very proud of their GCSE results, which reflect the fact that Blessed William Howard remains amongst the top-performing schools.”

Some of the top performers include:

Kaitlin Spidey achieved 7 grade 9s, 3 grade 8s and a grade 7

Harry Round achieved 3 grade 9s, 8 grade 8s and a Distinction*

Archie Wareham achieved 4 grade 9s, 4 grade 8s and 3 grade 7s

Maebh Lennon achieved 4 grade 9s, 5 grade 8s and 2 grade 7s

  • 75% achieved a standard pass/grade 4 or above in English and Mathematics
  • 56% achieved strong pass/grade 5 or above in English and Mathematics
  • Over 242 top grades awarded were at 8/9/Distinction/Distinction*
  • One in three grades awarded in 2023 were grades 9 to 7
  • 41% of students achieved a fantastic distinction* or distinction in their vocational qualifications
  • Over 80% of grades awarded were a standard pass (grade 4 and above)

Mr Brown continued, “It is difficult to pick out individual subjects, but results are especially pleasing in English, Mathematics, Science (Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Combined Science), History, Art and Sport. Across the year of 2023, we have seen a significant improvement in the number of students achieving their target grades.

We wish all our Year 11 students the very best of luck in the future and look forward to welcoming many of them back into the sixth form. Anyone interested in joining our Sixth Form, in September 2023, should contact Mrs R Broomhall (Head of Sixth Form) - or Mrs Deakin (School Business Manager) on 01785 244236 ext. 204. We would also like to welcome parents and students in Year 6 to our Open Evening on 12th September at 6.00pm – please secure your place by using the registration link”