15th February 2013 - Press Release


The Barlow RC High School in Didsbury has been named one of the top ten schools in England for its PE provision. On 14th February, the school’s Head of PE was presented with an award in recognition of the school's excellent practice and approach to physical education. Head of PE, Mrs Penny Scott received the award from Edward Timpson MP at the Department for Education’s Offices in London. 

The Barlow's PE department has been awarded The Association for Physical Education's (afPE) Quality Mark; the benchmark and industry standard for high quality PE. The mark celebrates excellence in The Barlow's management and delivery of PE and sport. The Barlow was just one of ten schools across England given this independent endorsement. 

Head of PE, Mrs Penny Scott said, “We are delighted with the Quality Mark award. It recognises the strength and quality of physical education and sport at The Barlow. All young people are entitled to benefit from a high quality physical education. We deliver strenuous activities that challenge our students, invest in competitive sport and provide a wide variety of extra-curricular sporting activities. Not only do PE lessons contribute to healthy and active lifestyles, there is significant evidence to show that they can help improve behaviour, develop key skills such as leadership and confidence and make a difference to the learning of children, more widely across the curriculum."

Edward Timpson MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (children and families) is responsible, amongst other things, for sport in school within the Department of Education. The Quality Mark is awarded to schools following an inspection by the afPE, similar to those conducted by Ofsted. A copy of the report is sent to the Department of Education. The afPE Strategic Lead, Sue Wilkinson said, “The afPE Quality Mark Award for Physical Education and school sport is only awarded to those schools who can demonstrate a commitment to improvement and a high standard in the subject. The Barlow High School is a worthy recipient of this award and we are delighted that Edward Timpson MP was able to present Penny with the award at the ceremony.”

It has been an excellent year for The Barlow with GCSE results rising significantly for the fourth year in succession. In 2012, 95% of the pupils achieved at least 5 A*- C grades, with 74% including English and Maths. These outstanding results placed The Barlow yet again as one of the highest performing secondary schools in Manchester. In July 2012, The Barlow also received national recognition from The Specialist Schools and Academies Trust (SSAT) for achieving some of the fastest improving GCSE results in the country and in October, an Ofsted inspection report praised pupils, staff and governors and stated that 'under passionate, visionary leadership, the school is going from strength-to-strength.'


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Kathryn Carr, Marketing Manager

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0161 445 8053 




Thursday, 03 January 2013 10:52

Christmas Cheer at Saint Paul’s!

Pupils spread the spirit of Christmas and brought seasonal smiles to pensioners’ faces when Saint Paul’s Catholic High School in Wythenshawe extended their Christmas cheer to the elderly of the parish by inviting them to join with the school’s pupils and staff in celebrating Christmas.

The event was hosted by the high school pupils who greeted the guests as they arrived then kept them entertained throughout the afternoon. The event provides a valuable link with the older generation in the community.

As well as well as a hearty festive feast, there was a visit from Santa who had a gift for every guest. Saint Paul’s pupils sang their favourite Christmas carols around the tree then the school and its guests enjoyed a raffle with wonderful food hampers as the special prizes.

The school received many warm words of thanks and appreciation from its guests, both on the day and in letters after the event.

One of the pensioners who attended said “The party was superb, we all really enjoyed it. Everyone was very friendly and welcoming and we were extremely well looked after.”

Another added: “We could see that weeks of preparation had obviously gone into this special event, and it seems that everyone’s hard work certainly paid off. We had a fantastic time and were very pleased to have been invited.”

“The event provided our pupils with an invaluable experience of volunteering, citizenship and socialising to which they responded magnificently,” said Mr Daron, Head Teacher at Saint Paul’s. “The elderly visitors were full of praise for the staff and pupils.”

Mr Daron added: “Each year we all enjoy the Christmas party; it is a special time for the pupils, teachers and members of the community who are able to share this wonderful celebration spanning the generations in Wythenshawe.”

Thursday, 20 December 2012 16:14

Leeds Trinity granted university title

Leeds Trinity has been awarded the title of university by the Privy Council and will now be known as Leeds Trinity University.

Professor Freda Bridge said: "I’m delighted that we have now been granted university status – it is a major milestone in our 46 year history that recognises our collective hard work and achievements. In all but name, Leeds Trinity has been functioning as a university since its award of taught degree awarding powers in 2009, and I’m delighted that the government’s decision will now allow us to use the title ‘university’. I’d like to thank all staff, students and governors who have worked hard to contribute to this momentous event in our history.”

Ed Anderson, Chair of the Board of Governors at Leeds Trinity, added: “The Board of Governors is thrilled that Leeds Trinity has been awarded university title. We are proud of the fantastic experience we provide to our students, which is reflected in student satisfaction surveys and the employment record of our former students. This announcement marks an exciting new chapter for Leeds Trinity, and the city of Leeds, and we are proud to be a part of the offer for people who wish to pursue their University education in Leeds.”

For more information please contact Tania Clarke on 0113 2837304 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

DELIGHTED pupils are celebrating after controversial plans to scrap free buses to and from faith schools were shelved.

Hartlepool Borough Council was considering axing £133,000 of denominational transport funding in a move which would have affected almost 400 pupils at two town schools.

But senior councillors on the cabinet committee have scrapped the plans and told senior officers to find the budget cuts from elsewhere, to the delight of staff and students at English Martyrs School and Sixth Form College and St Teresa’s RC Primary School.

The council, which needs to save between £18m and £20m over the next five years, was considering the faith transport because it is not a statutory requirement.

But Michael Lee, headteacher at English Martyrs School, said: “I am delighted and relieved that the cabinet committee has seen sense and parents of both schools will be relieved the current service is being maintained.

“It has been a worrying time for everyone, especially the parents.”

Around 340 pupils at English Martyrs and 33 at the primary school would have been affected from September 2013 if the transport had been cut.

Ahead of the meeting, a consultation revealed 98.3 per cent of people, or 581, were against the plans.

Mr Lee, who spoke at the meeting, said that was an emphatic response and the people should be listened to.

He added: “If you go against, then there needs to be a pretty strong argument in order to do so, that argument is contained in the report but I don’t think it is a strong argument.

“I can’t think of any front line service that is more important than getting children to school and getting children to the school of their choice.”

If it had been axed it would also have meant 22 pupils facing an unsafe walking route to school.

Mr Lee added: “I don’t need to spell out the implications if anything where to happen to those students.”

He argued it also wasn’t fair to change the arrangements of parents whose children are halfway through their time at the school and the potential impact on admissions.

The original decision to scrap the transport had been taken earlier this year, but a last-minute budget amendment ensured the transport would remain in place for this academic year.

But now the council’s cabinet committee has changed its mind.

Mary Frain, headteacher at St Teresa’s RC Primary School, said: “I am very pleased and relieved that we have had the support of the councillors and the mayor on this issue.”

During the cabinet meeting, Miss Frain said the consultation had been heavily focused on the impact on secondary school children and said it wasn’t until three weeks ago that the impact on her school was made clear in cabinet papers.

Miss Frain told councillors her school and parents had been treated “unfairly”.

Figures showed 33 pupils at the school benefit from home-to-school transport, including 32 through denominational eligibility and one because of an unsafe walking route.


Published on Tuesday 20 November 2012 by Hartlepool Mail

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