Wakefield’s Cathedral Academy crowned Secondary School of the Year

Class act: Cathedral students celebrate their TES win (photo by Special and Different Photography)
Class act: Cathedral students celebrate their TES win (photo by Special and Different Photography)

Cathedral Academy has been crowned the Secondary School of the Year in the Times Educational Supplement (TES)School Awards 2019.

The team was highlighted for their ambitious public-speaking programme and their dedication to its unique performing arts curriculum.

The judges praised staff for their “remarkable” achievements, showing huge progress in a short space of time, despite around half of the pupils being classed as disadvantaged.

Cathedral Academy principal Rob Marsh said: “I’m delighted for the school and the whole community.

“We’ve worked really hard to get here.

“The whole leadership team is here tonight and they all deserve it.

“The key is supporting the children consistently throughout the year.”

Despite facing a financial crisis two years ago, when a projected deficit of £500,000 meant that cutbacks had to be made, the school was praised for being in the top 10 per cent for progress nationally.

The Wakefield school was presented with the award by comedian, Harry Hill, on Friday at a gala awards evening at the Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane.

Shortlisted schools and teachers were treated to a special performance from the cast of the West End’s Lion King on what is one of the biggest nights in the UK education calendar.

Wakefield MP, Mary Creagh said: “I am immensely proud of the schools in my constituency and know from my visits to Cathedral Academy that it is a fantastic representative of our local area.

“Rob Marsh and his team are passionate about education and richly deserve this award and the recognition of their tireless efforts.

“Huge congratulations to all of the staff and pupils.

“I hope that Cathedral Academy and other schools in my constituency can represent Wakefield at the TES School Awards in 2020.”

Tes’s chief education and external officer, Lord Jim Knight, added: “We are proud to host an event that credits educators around the country for the priceless work that they do.

“Secondary School of the Year is one of our most competitive categories and it is a huge achievement for Cathedral Academy to have taken home the award for 2019.”