Faith schools in academies push

Copper cladding stolen from St. Thomas A Beckett school chapel
Copper cladding stolen from St. Thomas A Beckett school chapel

CATHOLIC schools across the district are set to become part of one large academy at the beginning of next month.

Seven schools, including St Thomas a Becket Catholic College, Ossett’s St Ignatius and Normanton’s St John the Baptist schools have applied to become part of the Diocese of Leeds’ Multi-Academy Trust for the area.

The Diocese is looking to bring 16 schools together into the single trust, including some from Goole and Selby.

It means the schools involved will become publicly-funded and free from local authority control when the new status comes into effect on Thursday, November 1.

Wakefield Council’s cabinet committee will discuss the bid at its meeting on Tuesday.

Cabinet member for children and young people Coun Olivia Rowley said she had stood down as chair of governors at St Thomas a Becket having been a governor for more than 30 years.

She said she was concerned at the way the school was looking to cut back its links with the local authority.

She said: “It’s a very sad day for me because I’ve been a governor for such a long time.”

Nobody at the school was available for a comment.

St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School in Pontefract, St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School in Castleford, St Wilfrid’s Catholic High School Sixth Form and Language College in Featherstone, and Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School in Hemsworth, are also looking to become part of the trust.

The schools consulted with parents, pupils and governors over the changes earlier this year.

There are currently 21 academy schools in the Wakefield district.