Sunderland Catholic Girl’s Academy gains national status

Headteacher from St Anthony's RC school, Monica Shepherd with pupils from the school.
Headteacher from St Anthony's RC school, Monica Shepherd with pupils from the school.
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ONE of Sunderland’s leading schools has scooped a national accolade.

Less than a week after the cutting of the turf to start building a new £15.4million school, St Anthony’s Girls’ Catholic Academy has become a National Teaching School.

The Thornhill school, which last year became Wearside’s first secondary school to be rated outstanding by Ofsted, will now be able to extend its work with other teaching organisations.

Monica Shepherd, headteacher at the academy, said everyone involved with the school is delighted to have been awarded the National Teaching School status from the Department of Education and National College for Teaching and Learning.

She said that after gaining the outstanding Ofsted, the school, which caters for girls aged 11 to 18, was able to submit a bid to the status, and the success was confirmed this week.

She said: “This is another fabulous achievement for St Anthony’s, following a number of major achievements in recent years.

“Achievement of Teaching School status recognises and formalises the academy’s work in the fields of initial teaching training, continuing professional development, school-to-school support, research and development and teaching and learning.”

She said the school is looking forward to further developing its partnership working with local and regional schools.

Mrs Shepherd said: “As Sunderland’s first secondary Teaching School, we look forward to working with partners and colleagues within the city and beyond.”

Last week, the Right Reverend Seamus Cunningham, Bishop of Hexham and Newcastle Diocese, went along to St Anthony’s Girls’ Catholic Academy to bless the school as work got underway on the new building.

The project will take two years to complete, but will see the old, cramped, run-down buildings replaced by a new state of the art facility in the same grounds which will cater for 1,050 pupils and a 400-pupil sixth form.

The listed buildings at the front of St Anthony’s will be kept and refurbished, in keeping with the historic nature of the area.