Blessed William Howard

The Painsley Catholic Academy was established in 2012. We are the largest Catholic multi-academy company in the Archdiocese of Birmingham.

Visit Trust

MAC Celebrates Being Better Together with Day of Spiritual Development.

Almost 500 members of staff from The Painsley Catholic Academy came together for the first time for a special day of celebration and spiritual development.  The INSET day involved all staff from all schools, teachers, support staff, governors and directors and was held at the conference centre at Alton Towers resort. 

Mr Steve Bell, CEO of The Painsley Catholic Academy said, “The motto of our multi academy is ‘Better Together’ and so to be physically together was a big occasion for the schools. It is very important to take time out to step back and consider our vision, away from the incredibly busy day-to-day school life.  I am particularly grateful to Mr Ian Crabbe, a Director of The Painsley Catholic Academy and Managing Director Resort Theme Parks at Alton Towers, who very generously provided a fantastic venue for this event.” 

After a welcome from Mr Bell that focused on the overall vision of being ‘Better Together’ staff listened to guest speaker, Sister Judith Russi who spoke about the importance of empowering future generations to have a voice.  Sister Judith is the Director of Catholic educational charity ‘EducareM’ promoting the ideology of the transformation of the person for the transformation of society.  

Sr Judith has worked for many years in all fields of Catholic education, teaching leadership, advisory, CSI inspection and teachers’ professional development and formation.  As a passionate national speaker and curriculum developer she continues to pioneer many innovative and challenging educational initiatives. 

Over the past few years the schools within the academy have realised the motto ‘better together’ with their many achievements.  These include: 

St John’s Catholic Primary School in Great Haywood, Stafford has gone from Requires Improvement to Good (Ofsted) 

St Patrick’s Catholic Primary School in Stafford has gone from Requires Improvement to Good (Ofsted) 

St Dominic’s Catholic Primary School in Stone has gone from Good to Outstanding. 

Blessed William Howard Catholic High School in Stafford has seen a significant improvement in its Progress 8 score – making it the best in Stafford. 

Painsley Catholic College was praised by Ofsted for its Outstanding quality of teaching and its outstanding Sixth Form 

Ofsted recognised the work of the MAC in the 8 very successful inspections that it has conducted since March.  For example, 

 ‘Curriculum leaders have benefited from opportunities to work with the subject hubs across the MAC. This support has helped leaders to raise their expectations about the quality of the curriculum. It has also developed middle leaders’ confidence in subject leadership.’ (St Patrick’s Catholic Primary School, Stafford Ofsted, 2022).   

In terms of Section 48 Diocesan inspections, 3 have been conducted since March.  All 3 were rated as ‘Outstanding’ for Catholic Life, and Collective Worship.  St Giles’ Catholic Primary School in Cheadle and St Anne’s Catholic Primary School in Stafford were also awarded ‘Outstanding’ for all areas of the inspection process.  Blessed William Howard improved its overall rating from ‘Requires Improvement’ to ‘Good’.  

All 13 of the primary school in the MAC surpassed national averages across all areas in the Key Stage 2 results (reading, writing and maths) this summer and Painsley Sixth Form saw its best results ever. 

The afternoon concluded with all staff celebrating Mass with Fr Eric Kemball from the Parish of St Giles’ in Cheadle and Canon Michael Neylon from the Parish of St Austin’s in Stafford.

The Alton Towers Conference Centre, situated at the Staffordshire-based Resort, is an award-winning events space delivering themed and non-themed residential options for large scale conferences, corporate events and company away days. Catering for up to 600 conference guests at one time, the Alton Towers Conference Centre continues to offer ‘business with a twist’ options, with a range of bespoke and memorable experiences for brands across the UK, Europe and worldwide. The venue was recently awarded Gold for Best UK Unique Venue at the Meeting & Incentive Travel Awards 2022. 

Ian Crabbe, Ian Crabbe, Managing Director Resort Theme Parks at Alton Towers Resort and a Director of The Painsley Catholic Academy, which welcomes pupils from a range of faiths, said: “It was a privilege to be able to offer a suitable and unique space for these staff to meet, share best practice and celebrate their recent achievements. Utilising guest speakers as part of the day also provided key insight on how we can better support future generation of all faiths and religion accessing these schools in the Trust. This kind of cohesive approach helps towards safeguarding the future success, inclusivity and achievement of education in the local area.”