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 comeing 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 Steven 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 www.painsley.co.uk


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) - rab@bwh.staffs.sch.uk 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” https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdqNzQikm2oWBRnoGwMJj2WUAXSLDNCAFlvg8IVmG2s23C6pQ/viewform


BWH Sixth Form Students Celebrate Excellent Results

Blessed William Howard students are again celebrating excellent A–level results. This cohort is particularly notable because Year 13 students sat public exams for the first time due to the pandemic.

Mr Karl Brown, Principal, commented, “Students at Blessed William Howard have risen to the many challenges including the impact of lockdown and the pandemic. Their achievements this year are excellent and well-deserved. I would like to congratulate the students on their wonderful achievements and thank the staff for their true dedication and commitment, which have enabled students to achieve their true potential.

We are delighted that all subjects have performed brilliantly. Success runs throughout the academic and applied general routes. Every Blessed William Howard student was able to make the next step in their learning journey and we congratulate them for doing so well!”

Half of all grades awarded were A* - B.

Some of the top performers include:

  • Conor Vince achieved A* in English Literature, A in Economics and B in History and will study Economics at the University of Manchester.
  •  Phoebe Ashton achieved two As in Geography and Religious Studies, B in Economics and A* in EPQ and will study Environmental Science at the University of Birmingham.
  •  Elena Grechi achieved 2 A*s in Art and English Literature and 2 As in Business and Spanish. She will study Architecture at the University of Manchester.

The school is particularly delighted that students, on average, achieved their target grades across all their subjects.

We wish all our Year 13 students the very best of luck in the future. Anyone interested in joining our Sixth Form, in September 2023, should contact Mrs Deakin on 01785 244236 ext. 204 or by email sbm@bwh.staffs.sch.uk.


Painsley Sixth Form Celebrate A Level Results

Painsley Catholic College is delighted to report that initial results show a 25% A*/A, 58% A*/B and 99% pass rate at A level. Additionally, all students completed an EPQ (Extended project qualification) achieving 43% A*/A, 57% A*/B and 100% A*/E.

Mrs Rachel Waugh, Principal said, “2023 has been a hugely successful year for Painsley Sixth Form College in so many ways.  We were rated as ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted in May 2022.  The inspectors praised our enrichment, careers provision and quality of education.  Not content to sit on our laurels we have continued to build on this success. This is the first cohort to receive grades via full examinations with no prior release information since 2019. Our sixth form students have made us and themselves extremely proud. They have achieved outstanding grades and many have secured places in the top universities whilst others are embarking on some fantastic degree apprenticeships.

Having not sat full official GCSE examinations, our learners were naturally anxious about sitting their A levels. Thankfully, our rigorous and robust assessment programme provided numerous opportunities for our learners to develop their examination skills and our students have certainly reaped the benefits of this in their results.

It is difficult to pick out individual departmental success as all departments have excelled in supporting the students to achieve their potential throughout their 2, or indeed 7, years of study at Painsley Catholic College and Sixth Form. However, exceptional performances can be identified in Chemistry, Sociology, History, Maths, English Literature, BTEC Health and Social, just to name a few.”
Some of the top performances include:


Libby Andrzejewski A Biology, A* Psychology, Distinction* in PE and A* EPQUniversity of Keele, Biology with psychology
Lily BarlowA Biology, A Chemistry, A in English Literature and A* EPQGap Year before law degree at university
Ruaidhri Gillen-LynchC Physics, A* Psychology, A* in Sociology and A* EPQGap Year before degree in politics, sociology and psychology
Thomas HewinsA* Chemistry, A* Maths, A in further Maths, A* in Physics and A EPQUniversity of Cambridge, Natural science
Madeline HortonB Chemistry, A Economics, A Maths and A* EPQApprenticeship with Ernest Young
Tyler HumphriesA Biology, A maths, B physics and A* EPQApprenticeship in manufacturing and engineering
Ben JacksonA Biology, B Chemistry, A Maths, B Physics and A* EPQUniversity of Liverpool, aerospace and engineering
Niall LovattA Biology, A Chemistry, B Economics and A* EPQUniversity to study Politics, Philosophy and Economics
Elliot NairnA Biology, A chemistry, A in Maths and A* EPQHarper and Keele Veterinary
Leanne PainterA* Maths, A Further Maths, A Music, A* physics and A* EPQImperial College London, Physics.
Max ScottA in D & T Production and Design, A Maths, B Physics and A EPQCapita Apprenticeship in Digital and Technology Studies
Megan StevensonA Economics, B English Literature, A Maths and A* EPQJCB apprenticeship in finance
Charlotte ThorleyA Business Studies, B economics, A Geography and A* EPQApprenticeship in management consultant
Aiden WebbA*English Literature, A History, A Psychology and A* EPQGap year


Mrs Rachel Waugh, continued: “We are proud of all of our students and their maturity, ambition and commitment and would like to congratulate each and every one of them on their achievements. I thank all the staff, teaching and non-teaching, for their dedication in order to provide an exceptional learning experience for the students. I thank the parents who have supported the Sixth Form in such a dedicated way and I wish the students the very best of luck in the next phase of their journey whether that be to university or into the world of work and I encourage them to keep in touch as part of the Painsley alumni.”

Head of Sixth Form, Mrs Sharon Jepson, said: “I am always proud of every single one of our students but never more so than this year as they have still experienced several disruptions to learning throughout the year including strike days and additional bank holidays.”

The College is looking forward to September. Students joining Painsley have been engaged with a thorough transition programme including taster lessons and transitional study aimed at bridging the gap from GCSE studies to their chosen KS5 curriculum. As a pioneer centre, Painsley continues to expand its T Level provision offering routes in Digital, Business (September 2023) and Education (September 2024), subject to demand and in its state-of-the-art digital hub. Students interested in being part of the Outstanding Painsley Sixth Form are welcome to join the College for its Open Evening on 27th September at 6pm. More details can be found at: www.Painsley.co.uk


T Level students Achieve Merit in Digital Course with Outstanding Industry Placements

In a remarkable achievement, this year’s cohort of dedicated students at Painsley Catholic College have successfully completed their Digital T Level course with flying colours, each earning themselves a well-deserved merit. The students not only demonstrated exceptional proficiency in their exams and coursework but also excelled during their 45-day industry placements, further enhancing their skills and real-world knowledge. The Digital T Level course, known for its comprehensive curriculum, rigorous training, and focus on practical application, has provided these students with an unparalleled foundation in digital technology. During their studies, students have worked diligently to master the essential skills and concepts that are vital for success in today's rapidly evolving digital landscape. A significant highlight of this achievement is the students' remarkable performance during their industry placements. For 45 days, these aspiring professionals immersed themselves in real-world work environments, gaining invaluable insights, experience, and networking opportunities. This exposure not only honed their technical skills but also nurtured a deep understanding of the industry's expectations and demands. One of the pinnacle accomplishments of these students was the successful completion of their Occupational Specialism task – the creation of a professional-looking app that linked the fields of health and meteorology. Leveraging the skills and knowledge acquired throughout the course and the insights gained during their placements, these students demonstrated their prowess by developing innovative and practical applications that could potentially contribute to the digital transformation of various sectors. "The achievement of these students is a testament to their dedication, hard work, and passion for digital technology," said Mrs Waugh, Principal at Painsley Catholic College. "Through their merit-worthy performance, they have not only proven their capabilities but have also showcased the effectiveness of the Digital T Level course in preparing individuals for success in the digital realm." As the students celebrate this milestone, they are now well-positioned to make significant contributions to the digital industry. Both students intend to continue to work in the field. Jack Lonergan will be studying Computer Games Design at Staffordshire University, while George Uttley will start a career in the RAF as a Cyberspace Communications Specialist. The success of these students underscores the commitment of Painsley Catholic College to providing top-notch education that equips individuals with the skills and knowledge needed to excel in the modern world. Congratulations to all the students for their remarkable achievement on the Digital T Level course, and here's to a bright future filled with innovation and success!  
St Thomas

St Thomas’ Catholic Primary School Awarded Outstanding status from Ofsted

St Thomas’ Catholic Primary School in Tean is delighted have received another Outstanding judgement following an Ofsted Inspection in February. The two day inspection process was rigorous with the inspector speaking to almost all of the children, observing playtimes and lunchtimes, observing lessons, conducting pupil interviews, completing book scrutinies, checking the website, interviewing staff, MAC executive leaders and governors, reviewing the parental questionnaires and reviewing all relevant school documentation. The report states: “Pupils have high expectations of themselves at St Thomas’ Catholic Primary School. They enjoy coming to school. Pupils are set personal challenges. They want to be good citizens and help others. They want to do well in their learning and enjoy coming to school Leaders successfully establish high standards for pupils’ personal achievements. Pupils know the Catholic teachings that underpin the school Leaders help pupils to reflect on these teachings. Pupils have weekly responsibilities to demonstrate them. Pupils show kindness and help others in the community as a result. They are proud of their achievements They strive to be positive role models. Behaviour is exemplary. Staff model high expectations. Pupils are polite and courteous as a result. “Leaders provide a wide range of opportunities for pupils. Each class is responsible for a charity and raises money to support them. Pupils also visit local businesses for example they learn how to make different flavour milkshakes and serve customers at a local coffee shop. Pupils go to different places of worship and learn about religions different to their own Leaders listen to and act on pupils’ views such as requests for additional dance and drama clubs. Opportunities at playtime are exceptional. Older pupils play with younger pupils. Pupils are trained to carry equipment safely such as tyres, wooden crates and tarpaulin sheets. They build imaginary shops, theatre s and gardens using the equipment. Pupils’ play skills and interactions have improved as a result.” Currently only 15% of primary schools in England are graded as outstanding, making St Thomas' achievement even more gratifying. Mrs Sarah Baxter, Principal at St Thomas’ said, “I am delighted with this result. We pride ourselves on the high standards we have at St Thomas’ and to receive recognition for this is very rewarding. This is a reflection on the whole school community and, as always, I thank the children for being fantastic, the parents for the continued support, the governors for their unwavering dedication and support and the staff for their commitment to ensuring that the children receive an outstanding level of education.” Pupil numbers at St Thomas remain strong, as parents in the area continue to make it their preferred choice of school.

Painsley Catholic College has been reaccredited as a World Class School for 2023

We are delighted to announce that Painsley Catholic College has been reaccredited as a World Class School for 2023.  The World Class School Quality Mark (WCSQM) was first achieved by Painsley in 2017 and since then, the school has maintained very high standards in order to gain reaccreditation. WCSQM is a charity concerned with developing the skills, competencies and characteristics young people need to thrive in an ever-changing global economy.  It provides schools with recognition beyond an Ofsted inspection grade as well as enabling participation in World Class partnerships for pupils and staff, including partnerships with peer World Class Schools UK wide and internationally, with higher education providers, careers development organisations, future employers and a range of World Class suppliers to the education sector. Mrs Rachel Waugh, Principal at Painsley Catholic College commented: "This outstanding award is a reflection of the hard work and commitment from all staff and students within our school community. The reaccreditation process was led by Mr Bradbury with 6 Year 11 student leaders, who provided substantial evidence to meet a specific framework of characteristics which are deemed to demonstrate a school being 'world class'. The framework consisted of a variety of characteristics including leadership, community, workplace provision, achievement, knowledge and understanding. Our student leaders involved with the process (James Davies, Kyle Parker, Jack Glover, Danny Steele, Evangeline Hartmann and Samantha Dalgleish) did an outstanding job and some evidence has been submitted for global partnership sharing, providing other schools around the world with evidence of how to achieve such competencies within their own school environments." WCSQM accreditation stages assess the accuracy of the in-school assessment by testing the World Class characteristics of a selected student sample, in ‘real life’ and ‘real time.’ "As well as being a real boost to our staff and students, this accreditation will also re-enforce parental confidence that they are sending their children to one of the best schools in the country and that their children will thrive and develop invaluable skills for success in life beyond school." continued Mrs Waugh. Photo shows:  from left to right: Evangeline, Danny, Kyle, Jack, James, Samantha.

Multi Academy Celebrates Being Better Together with Day of Spiritual Development.

Multi Academy Celebrates Being Better Together with Day of Spiritual Development.

Almost 500 members of staff from 15 Catholic schools across Staffordshire came together for the first time for a special day of celebration and spiritual development. The Painsley Catholic Academy comprises thirteen primary schools and two secondary schools, as well as two sixth forms and a teaching school hub. The multi academy was expanded in 2018 but with the impact of having to maintain ‘bubbles’ over the past few years with Covid restrictions this was the very first time all employees have been able to come together. The INSET day involved all staff from all schools, teachers, support staff, governors and directors and was held at the conference centre at Alton Towers resort on 1st December. Mr Steve Bell, CEO of The Painsley Catholic Academy said, “The motto of our multi academy is ‘Better Together’ and so to be physically together was a big occasion for the schools. It is very important to take time out to step back and consider our vision, away from the incredibly busy day-to-day school life. I am particularly grateful to Mr Ian Crabbe, a Director of The Painsley Catholic Academy and Managing Director Resort Theme Parks at Alton Towers, who very generously provided a fantastic venue for this event.” After a welcome from Mr Bell that focused on the overall vision of being ‘Better Together’ staff listened to guest speaker, Sister Judith Russi who spoke about the importance of empowering future generations to have a voice. Sister Judith is the Director of Catholic educational charity ‘EducareM’ promoting the ideology of the transformation of the person for the transformation of society. Sr Judith has worked for many years in all fields of Catholic education, teaching leadership, advisory, CSI inspection and teachers’ professional development and formation. As a passionate national speaker and curriculum developer she continues to pioneer many innovative and challenging educational initiatives. Over the past few years the schools within the academy have realised the motto ‘better together’ with their many achievements. These include: St John’s Catholic Primary School in Great Haywood, Stafford has gone from Requires Improvement to Good (Ofsted) St Patrick’s Catholic Primary School in Stafford has gone from Requires Improvement to Good (Ofsted) St Dominic’s Catholic Primary School in Stone has gone from Good to Outstanding. Blessed William Howard Catholic High School in Stafford has seen a significant improvement in its Progress 8 score – making it the best in Stafford. Painsley Catholic College was praised by Ofsted for its Outstanding quality of teaching and its outstanding Sixth Form Ofsted recognised the work of the MAC in the 8 very successful inspections that it has conducted since March. For example, ‘Curriculum leaders have benefited from opportunities to work with the subject hubs across the MAC. This support has helped leaders to raise their expectations about the quality of the curriculum. It has also developed middle leaders’ confidence in subject leadership.’ (St Patrick’s Catholic Primary School, Stafford Ofsted, 2022). In terms of Section 48 Diocesan inspections, 3 have been conducted since March. All 3 were rated as ‘Outstanding’ for Catholic Life, and Collective Worship. St Giles’ Catholic Primary School in Cheadle and St Anne’s Catholic Primary School in Stafford were also awarded ‘Outstanding’ for all areas of the inspection process. Blessed William Howard improved its overall rating from ‘Requires Improvement’ to ‘Good’. All 13 of the primary school in the MAC surpassed national averages across all areas in the Key Stage 2 results (reading, writing and maths) this summer and Painsley Sixth Form saw its best results ever. The afternoon concluded with all staff celebrating Mass with Fr Eric Kemball from the Parish of St Giles’ in Cheadle and Canon Michael Neylon from the Parish of St Austin’s in Stafford.

The Alton Towers Conference Centre, situated at the Staffordshire-based Resort, is an award-winning events space delivering themed and non-themed residential options for large scale conferences, corporate events and company away days. Catering for up to 600 conference guests at one time, the Alton Towers Conference Centre continues to offer ‘business with a twist’ options, with a range of bespoke and memorable experiences for brands across the UK, Europe and worldwide. The venue was recently awarded Gold for Best UK Unique Venue at the Meeting & Incentive Travel Awards 2022.

Ian Crabbe, Ian Crabbe, Managing Director Resort Theme Parks at Alton Towers Resort and a Director of The Painsley Catholic Academy, which welcomes pupils from a range of faiths, said: “It was a privilege to be able to offer a suitable and unique space for these staff to meet, share best practice and celebrate their recent achievements. Utilising guest speakers as part of the day also provided key insight on how we can better support future generation of all faiths and religion accessing these schools in the Trust. This kind of cohesive approach helps towards safeguarding the future success, inclusivity and achievement of education in the local area.”