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Blessed Christopher Wharton

Catholic Academy Trust

Our News

Open invite for more Directors and joining the Audit Committee


We are open to new talent to come forward to join us on the Trust Board as Foundation Trustees. We are always looking to share the privilege and work of running the Blessed Christopher Wharton Trust. Please forward your name and reasons for your interest in the position to, and we will forward your name to the Diocesan Education Office. Thank you.


If you would prefer to serve without joining the Board, we have an independent group who scrutinise and challenge the Board, but are not Directors. The Audit Committee are led by a non-Director chair and is composed of mainly external and independent members. We have established this to improve the rigour and challenge of our governance of the Trust. If you would like to join the Audit Committee please email Thank you.


Alternatively, a different advisory group that helps steer the Trust Board is the Strategy Group. This small group meets infrequently on Saturday mornings to conduct deep dives and plan the future shape, structure and strategy of the Trust. Again, if this is an area of interest please email us using the Trust email address, Thank you.


Newsletter Update April 2019

Coming soon - update on conversion.


Keep an eye on our website to be the first to see the journey of conversion document which we will upload here in the coming week. This will give you a clear guide of your next steps as a converting school.


Trust Board Meeting Communication Update April 2019

Each meeting we are sharing a brief precis of the latest Trust Board Meeting


Trust Board Meeting 4th April 2019

The recent Trust Board meeting covered a large and very varied agenda. The Minutes will be shared on the Trust website as soon as they are approved. In the meantime, we wanted to provide a summary of our discussions and the decisions we made:


  • Welcome to Liz Snelling - the Board warmly welcomed Liz to her first meeting as a Trustee. As an Executive Headteacher, Liz chairs the Headteacher's Reference Group each half term and she provided a comprehensive update on the activities of that group.  


  • Catholic Life - An introduction to the new framework for Section 48 Inspections of RE and the Catholic Life of our Schools. The board discussed the importance of Catholic life in all our schools, and in particular, the importance of making good preparations for S.48 inspections. These should be taken as seriously as visits from Ofsted.


  • Update on the successful AGM with the Bishop on the 21st March.


  • We have been fortunate to secure the voluntary services of an IT training Consultant who is working with Yvonne Sinclair, our Safeguarding training Consultant, to further develop our Safeguarding training programme to include evaluation of the effectiveness of the training provided in our schools. A pilot was agreed for the Autumn term to test new software which would enhance the training to keep us all safe in schools.


  • Update on Communications strategy. First, we are keen to ensure that a note of key decisions and progress is now shared immediately after each Board meeting. Second, we are planning another Trust Conference for the Autumn, and also that our website will be further populated with our Twitter feed and regular news items.


  • Preparation of documents about conversion to Academy. Several Governors have requested information about their next steps towards conversion. These documents, including a route map, will be shared this week. Copies will be available on our website. A further meeting will be held with our first tranche of schools to help us all to be familiar with the process and our new relationship in the exciting times ahead.


  • An updated Financial Regulations Handbook for the Trust and the schools to help improve our use of the resources we receive for the education of the children


  • The presentation of an audit with the CSPTSA of readiness of Trust Schools for the new Curriculum in September 2019

Diocesan Meeting


Last Wednesday, 3rd April 2019, was the Bradford and Keighley Diocesan Meeting for Governing Bodies of maintained schools. There was a large turnout of around 65 Governors who had probing questions for Diocesan and Trust representatives about the future shape and tone of the growing Trust. Questions covered staffing and financial resources and clarity on the benefits of joining the Trust for schools and Governors. 


AGM update


A report from the Annual General Meeting at Leeds Diocese this week. On Thursday 21st March Trustees and colleagues met to present to the Members of the Blessed Christopher Wharton Trust at Hinsley Hall.


A presentation incorporating our key achievements and challenges this year, and our exciting plans for the year ahead were presented to Bishop Marcus, the Episcopal Vicar for Education and the Vicar for Evangelisaton.


New - current structure of the Blessed Christopher Wharton Trust


This structure describes the composition of our current team, and the Board as we operate for our six Trust schools. 


A copy is available for closer scrutiny here. 


Grant Funding Opportunities


We are delighted to be able share with our colleagues across the Trust a fabulous opportunity to secure significant funding in exchange for their classroom-based ideas in English, Maths or Science. We know we have lots of fantastic staff with brilliant ideas – hopefully we will be equally successful in securing this extra money!


Let Teachers SHINE offers up to £15,000 to teachers who have brilliant ideas they would like to pilot in their classroom to help disadvantaged children aged 4-18 succeed in English, Maths or Science; Closing date 23rd April 2019:


Twitter – Website both continue to grow!


Recently passing a big milestone of 150 followers on the popular platform means the Trust's work is reaching more and more people across the region. All of our schools have very active twitter feeds which are on their website and are brimming with the exciting news and activities from the students. If have a minute they are well worth a look!


A great deal of work has been undertaken behind the scenes on our Trust website in the past months. We are really grateful to Ben Palmer, teacher at St Joseph’s Keighley for his hard work in recent months rebuilding the site using the Google Suite software. Now it is in better shape we are starting to populate it with new information.


Newsletter Spring 2018