The Bishop currently provides 54 Catholic schools across the diocese to help him as first educator spread the good news to children and young people.

With more than 18,000 children and young people attending a diocesan school each day, the work they do is central to the wider mission of the Catholic Church in forming and educating future generations to make the world a safer, more loving, tolerant and respectful place to live in.

Due to major changes and a retraction in local government services available to our schools, in 2017 the Bishop commissioned the Diocesan Schools Service to look to create new structures and arrangements that will ensure all diocesan schools can still be supported and challenged in these difficult times for schools nationally.

Any new arrangements had to ensure we still provided the best Catholic education possible while remaining steadfast in our mission as Catholic schools and being at service to our parishes and wider communities.

The arrangement the Bishop has chosen is to seek to place all 54 schools into one of three large Catholic Academy Trusts to serve the northern, central and southern areas of the diocese.

All three Catholic Academy Trusts have been formed with Nicholas Postgate Catholic Academy Trust being home to diocesan schools in Redcar & Cleveland, Middlesbrough and Stockton-on-Tees, St Margaret Clitherow Catholic Academy Trust serving our schools in North Yorkshire, the East Riding and York (see the article on this page) and St Cuthbert’s Catholic Academy Trust overseeing Catholic education in Hull.

The three trusts will provide services to their schools to support the development and vision for Catholic life, Religious Education and collective worship alongside wider school improvement, governance, finance, human resources and estates management responsibilities. This will ensure the resources, skills and experience available are directed and deployed effectively so that the standards and quality of all our schools rise to meet those of the best.

These are challenging times for education but the Bishop has provided the structures and arrangements that best place our schools to positively meet these challenges and seize the opportunities available, securing the future of Catholic education not just for today, but for those that will follow us in the years ahead.

Our new Diocesan Catholic Academy Trusts represent the future of Catholic education in the Diocese of Middlesbrough and I ask that you keep them and the work they do in your prayers.

Kevin Duffy, Diocesan Director of Schools  

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