London, 21 June 2019: Cathedral Academy has taken Secondary school of the year at the prestigious Tes Schools Awards 2019. The awards, celebrating their eleventh year, recognise outstanding contributions made by education teams and individuals to help students around the country to succeed, both inside and outside the classroom.
The motto of Cathedral Academy in Wakefield is “greatness is within” – and its pupils certainly have shown that to be the case.
Around half of the secondary school’s pupils are classed as disadvantaged but their development over the past two years has put the school in the top 10 per cent for progress nationally. “We teach our students to believe in themselves and that the skills they need to succeed are within their own potential,” said school spokesperson. “As a collective, we teach that everything is possible for one who believes.”
Such success has come despite a financial crisis two years ago, when a projected deficit of £500,000 meant that the school had to make many cutbacks. Yet not only did it improve outcomes on almost every measure, it worked hard to maintain its much-loved and unique performing arts curriculum. Cathedral Academy’s ambition public-speaking programme stands out, and visitors to the school comment that pupils have the most gratitude they have ever witnessed in young people.
The judges praised staff for their “remarkable” achievements. “This school has shown huge progress in a very short space of time,” they said, and this was despite pupils coming “from one of the most deprived areas nationally”.