Our Catholic Academy Trust

Logos-of-all-the-member-schools-in-2-columns-three-rows

The six schools who have converted into academies under The Bishop Wheeler Catholic Academy Trust are:

Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School Ilkley, a Voluntary Academy
St Mary’s Horsforth Catholic Voluntary Academy
St. Joseph’s Catholic Primary School Pudsey, a Voluntary Academy
St. Joseph’s Catholic Primary School Otley, a Voluntary Academy
Ss Peter and Paul Catholic Primary School, a Voluntary Academy
St. Mary’s Menston, a Catholic Voluntary Academy

The Trust allows us to strengthen the work we all do together in providing a world class Catholic education for all the families within our parishes. Staff and governors continue to work together to provide the best for our young people in all our schools throughout their education. I would like to thank them and all our families for their continued support.

We have a vision for Catholic education that goes beyond individual schools and changes our perception from ‘my’ school, to ‘our’ schools. The challenge for us all is how we can share our gifts and talents to ensure that education for all of our children is outstanding.

Caroline Hyde 499px
Caroline Hyde
Chair, The Bishop Wheeler Catholic Academy Trust

The Inaugural Mass of Dedication of The Bishop Wheeler Catholic Academy Trust

On Wednesday 26 February, the school and parish communities of six Catholic schools gathered for the Inaugural Mass of Dedication of The Bishop Wheeler Catholic Academy Trust.

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Veritas-Et-Caritas-(raster)

To celebrate the forming of the Bishop Wheeler Catholic Academy Trust, representatives from six Catholic schools celebrated the Inaugural Mass of Dedication, held at St. Anne’s Cathedral in Leeds. Over 300 students from St. Mary’s Menston, St. Joseph’s Otley, Ss Peter and Paul Yeadon, Sacred Heart Ilkley, St. Mary’s Horsforth and St. Joseph’s Pudsey participated in the Mass. Many staff, both past and present, Trust and Academy Governors, guests from the Diocese of Leeds, local councillors, and parents attended.

The theme for the mass was “In Truth and Love” which is the motto contained on the Bishop Wheeler Episcopal Coat of Arms.

The Mass was presided over by Mgr John Wilson, the Diocesan Administrator and the following concelebrated: Mgr Michael McQuinn, Mgr Kieran Heskin, Canon Lawrie Hulme, Mgr Paul Owens, Fr Anthony Jackson, Mgr Billy Steele, and Fr Malachy Larkin.

The Mass commenced with an entrance procession of the school banners carried by representatives from each of the six schools involved, behind the new Trust Banner and the Diocese of Leeds banner.

In the homily Mgr John Wilson used the family of Mr Men and Little Miss books to highlight that we are all different, but we all belong to the same Trust family. Mgr Wilson displayed the Wheeler Trust plaque which was situated above the Cathedra, the Bishop’s Chair in the cathedral Wheeler during his episcopacy from 1966 to 1985.

The celebration of the newly founded Bishop Wheeler Catholic Academy Trust was symbolised by the lighting of the Trust Candle.

Bidding Prayers were read by representatives from the Trust Primary Schools: the prayers enforced the mission of the Trust to work together in truth and love to provide the best possible opportunities for all our young people and their families.

The Trust’s mission is the provision, development and future safeguarding of a World Class Catholic Education where every child, member of staff and family matters. The schools, their governors and the trust directors work together, based on the principle of subsidiarity, in faithfulness and humility, to provide an education where Christ and His values of respect, service, tolerance, dignity and forgiveness are at the heart of everything we do.

• Let us pray for Pope Francis and all those entrusted with the leadership of the Church, on whom we rely so heavily: that they may be fearless and rock-like in proclaiming Christ’s message of hope, truth and love for all; and that, through the working of the Holy Spirit, they will be granted the courage and wisdom always to lead in faith and serve in love the flock that has been entrusted to their care, and in turn guide us to bring the Good News to everyone we meet.

• Let us pray for world leaders: that their decisions may reflect the wisdom and loving care of Jesus, the Good Shepherd, and that, in seeking the welfare of all the peoples of the Earth, they act justly, truthfully, peacefully and with compassion, never forgetting our responsibility to be good stewards of the Earth’s God-given resources which must be shared fairly.

• Let us pray for everyone in the world who doesn’t have enough to eat today; for those whose lives have been torn apart by war and violence; for those who do not have the chance to go to school; for those who suffer through untruth or lack of love; and for everyone who is trying to help them in any way. May our world reflect more and more God’s Kingdom Values of Love, Truth, Justice, Peace and Reconciliation.

• Let us pray for anyone we know who would appreciate a prayer today; for those who are ill and for those who worry about and care for them; for those who are lonely or who have many problems; for those who are sad because someone they love has died and for those without faith, hope or love. May we always do what Jesus told us and show our love for our neighbour in the way we live our lives, remembering that our actions speak louder than our words.

• Let us pray for all the schools that comprise The Bishop Wheeler Catholic Academy Trust: for our children, teachers, governors and all those who contribute in any way to the success of what we seek to achieve. We remember especially all our Year 3 children who have begun preparing to make their First Holy Communion and our Year 9 pupils who are preparing to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation later this year.

• Let us pray that we may grow ever closer as a community that has Christ at its centre, and that each of us uses our unique gifts and talents so that together we encourage and support each other to live lives that measure up to the standard that Jesus set for his followers. May the Holy Spirit guide us to recognise the worth and value of each individual, and always to seek the truth, no matter how hard or difficult, in a spirit of love and compassion for our neighbour. Let us pray that all with whom we work, and all those whom we meet, may see in us the reflection of the master, whose we are, and whom we seek to serve.

A representative from each school then lit their school’s candle from the Trust Candle and accompanied the Headteacher from each of the six schools, who read the schools’ promises:

Mr T Rothwell
On behalf of the school communities of The Bishop Wheeler Catholic Academy Trust, St. Mary’s, Menston, promises to put love and service of others at the heart of everything we do, (remembering always Your commandment to love our neighbour as we loved ourselves).

Mrs A Lubomski
On behalf of the school communities of The Bishop Wheeler Catholic Academy Trust, Sacred Heart, Ilkley, promises to deal with other with truthfulness and integrity, however difficult that may be, (remembering always that God is the source of all truth and that You were the way to the Father).

Mrs C Knight
On behalf of the school communities of The Bishop Wheeler Catholic Academy Trust, St. Joseph’s, Otley, promises to deal with others fairly and justly, and to speak out against injustice in our world, (remembering always that You stood up for those least able to help themselves when You were on Earth).

Mrs A Ashworth
On behalf of the school communities of The Bishop Wheeler Catholic Academy Trust, St. Joseph’s, Pudsey, promises to deal with others peacefully and with good will, and to work for peace in our world, (remembering always that the peace that You give to us is beyond the world’s understanding).

Mr P Hughes
On behalf of the school communities of The Bishop Wheeler Catholic Academy Trust, St. Mary’s, Horsforth, promises to offer to and to seek from others forgiveness and reconciliation, without holding grudges, (remembering always that only then can we expect forgiveness for ourselves from God).

Mrs D Todd
On behalf of the school communities of The Bishop Wheeler Catholic Academy Trust, Ss Peter and Paul, Yeadon, promises to show respect through word and deed for every person that we meet, (remembering always that all human beings are equal in Your sight, and that You have no favourites).

Music for the Mass was provided by an orchestra and choir made up of students from all the Trust schools, ably led by Mrs Chapman, music teacher at St. Mary’s, Menston.

Mr Thomas Rothwell, Acting Headteacher at St. Mary’s Menston said:-

“This was a wonderful service which showed how coordinated the work of all the schools in the Trust has become in such a short period of time. The children were a credit to their schools and the Trust as a whole. The atmosphere created was one of joy, happiness and belonging – a spiritual and uplifting event.”

Mrs Alixena Lubomski, Headteacher at Sacred Heart, Ilkley, who coordinated the Mass arrangements said:-

“As the promises were read, the enormity of the potential impact of our Trust on the lives of our current and future students, staff and families was reinforced to everyone present. Special Collective Worships were also held in each school that day which echoed the readings, bidding prayers and promises from the Mass. As Headteachers, we were keen to ensure that our school communities experienced unification through this Inaugural event, spiritually and physically. Due to its success we are looking forward to praying for and celebrating the work of the Trust together on an annual basis.”

Mrs Caroline Hyde, Chair of The Bishop Wheeler Catholic Academy Trust said:-

“Our Trust is set up under the Leeds Diocesan geographic model of multi academy trusts. Our schools see this as an opportunity to use the Academy structure to provide truly outstanding Catholic education from aged 4-18 for all the families in our area. It enables us to provide an education that has Christ at the centre, offering excellence of provision and allowing all our young people to grow and use their talents to the full, whilst safeguarding the future of Catholic education in this area. Integral to this is the principle of subsidiarity and maintaining the individual identity of each school. We are developing innovative ways to share facilities, skills and good practice and develop Catholic teachers and educational leaders for the future.”

Following Mass, guests gathered, very appropriately, in Wheeler Hall for refreshments.

The Bishop Wheeler Catholic Academy Trust Inaugural Mass witnessed and blessed the commitment of the six schools to work together ‘in love and truth’ and to put Christ at the centre of all that they do. The Mass consolidates this commitment to the Catholic Church and in Catholic education and heralds the first of many collaborative celebrations and events.

The Bishop Wheeler Catholic Academy Trust​ [DIOCESEOFLEEDS.ORG.UK]

Bradford Transport Proposals: 25 March Bradford Council Meeting

Next Tuesday Caroline Hyde and Mrs Lubomski, Headteacher of Sacred Heart, Ilkley, supported by parents, will be handing our petition to Bradford Council at their meeting in City Hall at 4pm. We hope to highlight that the proposal to scrap free transport to “faith” schools is poorly thought out and discriminatory. It will not produce the savings officials have highlighted. In this area it will act solely against Catholic families, any savings could only be made by expecting our parents to pay nearly £400 per year for transport for each future pupil. Parents may feel they have to drive children to school causing additional traffic, safety and environmental issues.

If parents feel unable to take on these additional costs, they may choose to send their children to other schools. All our local schools are oversubscribed, which will in turn mean other local children will be denied places at their nearest school. Ironically this will result in the Council sending these children to schools outside our area and having to pay for their transport.

Please support our campaign if you will be affected, if you currently receive free transport for your children and to help safeguard Catholic education in this area. Write to your local councillor and if possible come and support us at the Council meeting. Further details are available on the schools’ websites.

Chairman of schools trust speaks out over pupil transport cost-cutting [BRADFORD TELEGRAPH & ARGUS]

Petition Raised Against Unfair Transport Plans

Plans by Bradford Council to cease paying for transport for children in faith schools continue to cause upset amongst the Catholic community.

In an attempt to find savings, Bradford Council is consulting on plans to cease paying for transport for children in Catholic schools, leaving parents from St. Mary’s, Menston and its feeder primary schools with an unforeseen financial burden.

By law, all children who have to travel more than 3 miles to school (2 if aged under 8) are entitled to receive free transport with the new proposals meaning that all new pupils in ‘faith schools’ will no longer receive this.  In this area, this will only affect children who will go to Catholic schools.

Mrs Caroline Hyde, Chair of the Bishop Wheeler Catholic Academy Trust has been in regular correspondence with Bradford Council regarding the plans, expressing her grave concerns about the adverse effects of the proposals.  The Catholic communities of Addingham, Burley and Ilkley have since raised a petition indicating their opposition to the proposals which they feel will treat Catholic families differently to those attending other state schools within the area.

Since the petition was presented, Mrs Hyde has been invited to address the full Bradford Council at a meeting to be held on Tuesday 25 March along with other representatives from the Trust.

Mrs Hyde said:-

“I am really grateful that the Council have given us the opportunity to raise this issue with them directly. Parents understand the immense financial pressures on local councils at the moment. However this is a poorly thought through proposal with little clarity about how savings will actually be made. Parents who cannot afford to pay nearly £400 a year per child may have to send their children to other already over full schools, such as Ilkley Grammar. Other local children will then be sent to schools further away – and the council will have to pay for their travel. This proposal will only save money if Catholic families are able to pay, effectively a tax on Catholic families.”

 

The Bishop Wheeler Catholic Academy Trust Procession Banner

Our new procession banner has been completed in time for the Inaugural Mass of Dedication on Wednesday 26 February 2014 at 10.30am in St Anne’s Cathedral, Leeds.

Bishop Wheeler’s personal motto (which you can see on the front of the banner) was Veritas et Caritas and forms the theme of our Mass, in Truth and Love.

Each of the six schools is represented on the rear of the banner.

Front of the procession banner

Front of the procession banner

 

Rear of the procession banner

Rear of the procession banner

Petition against proposed changes to Bradford Council School Transport Policy

Register your opposition to the proposals before Friday 7
February
The consultation is ongoing.
There is a petition that can be signed by parents, carers and other interested parties. This can be printed and completed by hand and returned via Sacred Heart Ilkley or Pupil Reception at St. Mary’s Menston (by Friday 7 February).​
Alternatively, you can call into St. Mary’s Menston school to sign the petition in person at Visitor Reception. Thank you for your ongoing support regarding this issue.

​​​

​Bradford Council Public Consultation Evenings on Transport

Paul Hart (Policy Development Officer,School Travel and Transport, Bradford) would like to draw attention to the public meetings that have been arranged within the district to allow schools, parents and other interested parties to put their concerns to Council Officers.

The dates, times and venues of meetings are:

5 February 2014, 6 – 8pm,
Victoria Hall,
Hard Ings Rd,
Keighley, West
Yorkshire
BD21 3JN

6 February 2014, 6 – 8pm,
City Hall,
Council Chamber
Centenary Square
Bradford
BD1 1HY

11 February 2014, 6 – 8pm,
Kings Hall,
4 Station Rd,
Ilkley
LS29 8HB

12 February, 6.30 – 8.30pm,
Kirkgate Centre,
39A Kirkgate,
Shipley,
West Yorkshire

Agenda
Public Consultation Evening Views Sought on Home to School and College Travel AGENDA (PDF)

Inaugural Mass of Dedication

On Wednesday 26 February 2014 at 10.30am in St Anne’s Cathedral, Leeds representatives from the schools of The Bishop Wheeler Catholic Academy Trust will gather for the Inaugural Mass of Dedication. The motto on the Bishop Wheeler Episcopal Coat of Arms was Veritas et Caritas and forms the theme of our Mass, in Truth and Love.

Veritas-Et-Caritas-(raster)

Bradford Council Consultation: Removal of free school transport to our Catholic Schools

Dear Parent

We have been notified by Bradford Council of a proposal to reduce the provision of school transport. If agreed, the proposals will make major changes to the provision of free transport to pupils attending Catholic schools who live within the Bradford Council area.

The full proposals can be found on the Council’s website (bradford.gov.uk) select “our latest consultations” and “Consultation on proposed changes affecting new applications to the policy covering travel between home, school and college”

At present pupils (up to the end of Year 11) who live more than 3 miles from their “nearest available school” are entitled to receive free travel. The changes will remove this entitlement to pupils who are attending a “faith school”, which would include all Catholic schools. Although our schools have been supported in this way for many decades, because such provision is only described as “discretionary”, Bradford Council proposes to stop supporting our families.

What this will mean is that only families who are in entitled to free school meals will continue to be eligible for free transport. Any children already receiving free transport to St. Mary’s will continue to do so until the end of Year 11, however any younger siblings will not be entitled to free transport even if older brothers and sisters already get it. Any pupils travelling on school buses who are not entitled to free transport will have to buy a School Plus Metrocard which currently costs £370 for a year.

We believe there are a number of unintended consequences of these proposals:

• The 1944 Education Act enshrines the right to attend Catholic Schools which form part of the state school system. Transport and access to these schools has always been provided on the same basis as all other state schools and it is therefore against the spirit of the Act to treat Catholic schools differently.

• The number of school places within this area has been based on the inclusion of Catholic Schools, additional places are not available at other local schools. For all intents and purposes St. Mary’s is our nearest available school. If Catholic children took up places at for example Ilkley Grammar, other children living in our local community would be denied places at their local schools. The council would then have to fund transport to send these children to schools outside the area.

• The existing school bus provision is only guaranteed until August 2016, there is no indication of what will be provided beyond this, so children may not even be able to travel to school by public transport.

• At present it is possible to pay the fare on a daily basis, for those not in receipt of a pass. It appears that only those with a designated pass will be able to use the bus in future, meaning that flexibility between the bus and train, especially for those in sixth form (who already pay for transport) will disappear.

• The removal of dedicated buses which deliver the pupils safely into school will disappear. Pupils will have to cross busy and dangerous roads, wait for service buses in large numbers on the pavement and overfill services currently used by the general public. The Bishop Wheeler Catholic Academy Trust is a charity and a company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales Company Number: 8399801 Registered Office: St. Mary’s Catholic High School, Bradford Road, Menston, LS29 6AE Telephone Number: 01943 883000

• Many parents, especially those with several children, will find it more cost effective to take them to school by car, which will add to congestion, pollution and is contrary to Council sustainability policies.

• Buying a School Plus Metrocard of £370 per child at one go will be financially difficult for many families. Parents of 3 children will have to find over £1000 at the beginning of each school year.

• There is no indication of what savings will actually be made by these proposals. Some provision will have to continue for those on low income and this will be less cost effective. In this area where all schools are full, the nearest available school for many will be outside our area and the Council will be legally obliged to fund transport for these pupils.

It is vital that we work together to continue to secure access to Catholic Education for all our families now and in the future. Please make your views known by taking part in the consultation before 12 February 2014, either on-line or via the attached form and please encourage your family and friends to do so too. A petition will also be available in our Parishes, which you are welcome to sign and encourage our wider Catholic community to show their support. You can also write to our local MP and councillors to make your views known. If you require any further information please do not hesitate contact us.

Yours sincerely

Caroline Hyde

Chair, The Bishop Wheeler Catholic Academy Trust

Please see the further information below:

Letter to parents re transport consultation 14.1.14 (PDF)

Combined Consultation and QA (WORD)

Consultation on on proposed changes affecting new applications to the policy covering travel between home, school and college [BRADFORD.GOV.UK]

The Bishop Wheeler Catholic Academy Trust Wikipedia Article

There is now an article on Wikipedia (the eighth most visited website in the world) about our Catholic Academy Trust.

The Bishop Wheeler Catholic Academy  Trust [WIKIPEDIA]

Proposed Admission Policies (for September 2015 entry) for our member schools

Please follow the links below to access individual schools’ consultation on admissions policies.

St. Mary’s Menston (Consultation Dates: Tuesday 19 November 2013 to Tuesday 14 January 2014)

St. Joseph’s Catholic Primary School Otley (Consultation Dates: 4 November 2013 – 30 December 2013)

Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School Ilkley (Consultation Dates: 11 November 2013 – 6 January 2014)

Ss Peter and Paul Catholic Primary School, a Voluntary Academy
Admissions Policy – September 2015 (Consultation Dates: 1 November 2013 – 31 December 2013)

St Mary’s Horsforth Catholic Voluntary Academy
Admissions Policy – September 2015 (Consultation Dates: 1 November 2013– 31 December 2013)

St. Joseph’s Catholic Primary School Pudsey, a Voluntary Academy
Admissions Policy – September 2015 (Consultation Dates: 25 November 2013 – 27 January, 2014)

Please direct any comments on the consultation to the relevant school.