Academies News

Nine More Schools in Two New CATs - 13/09/21

Nine more schools became academies as part of the Catholic Academy Trusts (CATs) programme on 1 September 2021.  There are now seven Diocesan CATs. 29.8% of schools in the Diocese, educating 38.3% of our pupils, are either academies or have embarked upon the academisation process.

The new Saint Francis of Assisi Catholic Academy Trust has been established by eight Lea Valley deanery schools in Hertfordshire.

The founding schools are:

  • Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School (Ware)
  • St Augustine's Catholic Primary School (Hoddesdon)
  • St Cross Catholic Primary School (Broxbourne)
  • St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School (Bishop’s Stortford)
  • St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School (Hertford)
  • St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School (Waltham Cross)
  • St Mary’s Catholic School (Bishop’s Stortford)
  • St Thomas of Canterbury Catholic Primary School (Puckeridge)

The formation of the Saint Francis of Assisi CAT represents another pivotal moment in the development of Catholic education in the Diocese as the schools come together in a spirit of collaboration to protect, secure and develop Catholic education in the Lea Valley deanery.  The formation of the CAT is the culmination of much discernment and dialogue between governors, headteachers and staff across the schools over time.

Andrew Celano has been appointed as Catholic Executive Officer (CEO).  He will work across the Trust to support the preservation and strengthening of Catholic education for all its pupils.


On the same day, St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School (Kensington & Chelsea) and the Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School become fellow founder-members of a new CAT for Family 8, the Saint John Southworth Catholic Academy Trust, with a new Trust Board.

The schools have been working together for two years and recognise the benefits that further collaboration can bring.  The emphasis of the SJSCAT is very much focussed on the formation and achievement of its pupils in Family 8 in the spirit of enhanced collaboration and shared expertise which the new structure facilitates.