Largest Catholic school in country now planned as St Bede's and St Joseph's may merge in Bradford

How the new uniforms will look

How the new uniforms will look

First published in News
Last updated
Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photograph of the Author by , T&A Reporter

Preparations are surging ahead for the merger of two Bradford secondaries which will create in the UK’s largest Roman Catholic school.

In September, the all-boys St Bede’s Grammar in Heaton and the all-girls St Joseph’s Catholic College in Manningham will come together, creating a co-ed entry school run over two campuses.

The new head teacher said the change is overwhelmingly supported by parents and there have been three times as many pupils applying to study at the new school than there are spaces available.

Governors at St Joseph’s have just applied for planning permission to expand the school into the neighbouring field to create a 73 by 45 metre football field, two rounders squares and two netball courts which would be ready for when the first mixed classes start.

The proposals have already been approved by the school governors, and are now awaiting a decision by Bradford Council planning officers.

The school will be re-named St Bede’s and St Joseph’s, and from September the St Joseph’s building will be home to years seven to nine with older pupils being taught at the St Bede’s site.

Year sevens will be mixed sex starting in September, with the entire school being mixed by September 2018.

Leeds Catholic Diocese, which runs the two schools, purchased a section of the playing field to improve sporting facilities for the school’s 2,000 pupils.

The merger was proposed because of the decline of Catholics in the area. Only 60 per cent of the current school intake belong to the faith.

Paul Heitzman, the executive head teacher of St Bede’s and St Joseph’s, said: “We’re very proud at the schools to have more than 100 years of tradition and we hope to keep a lot of those traditions.

“A lot of staff and pupils like the idea of having a key stage separate in one building. It is a bit like a middle school, so it won’t be such a big move.

“We have a new uniform – that is ready. This is an important story because once we’re open we will be the biggest Catholic school in the country.

“We have had fantastic support from the parents and we’ve had more than 900 people put us as a first preference when there are only 290 places.

“We’re currently working on little things, like making sure we’ve got enough boys and girls’ toilets. We want the schools to have the best facilities. We weren’t happy with the outdoor play facilities at St Joseph’s so we’ve put in these new plans. It will cost about £200,000 to create these new outdoor facilities.

“These are very exciting times.”

A decision on the outdoor courts is expected by Bradford Council at the end of the month.

Comments (9)

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9:37am Mon 17 Feb 14

Avro says...

"once we’re open we will be the biggest Catholic school in the country" - But this also show's that catholicism is in steep decline in Bradford when two Catholic schools have to merge for survival, and is a reflection of the current demographic of Bradford.
"once we’re open we will be the biggest Catholic school in the country" - But this also show's that catholicism is in steep decline in Bradford when two Catholic schools have to merge for survival, and is a reflection of the current demographic of Bradford. Avro
  • Score: 3

10:13am Mon 17 Feb 14

dannyboy123 says...

Everything was already in place at Yorkshire Martyrs...
Everything was already in place at Yorkshire Martyrs... dannyboy123
  • Score: 5

11:22am Mon 17 Feb 14

MontyLeMar says...

Not a good idea to merge. Some Asian parents will be very upset. They like their daughters to go to single sex schools because there is no male presence in the form of domineering Asian boys intent on showing they are still superior to the girls. Islam in the 21st century is still a male dominated hierarchy with women the inferior partners. Separate education is the best way to break this 'tradition' and let the women prosper.
Not a good idea to merge. Some Asian parents will be very upset. They like their daughters to go to single sex schools because there is no male presence in the form of domineering Asian boys intent on showing they are still superior to the girls. Islam in the 21st century is still a male dominated hierarchy with women the inferior partners. Separate education is the best way to break this 'tradition' and let the women prosper. MontyLeMar
  • Score: 1

11:39am Mon 17 Feb 14

Albion. says...

MontyLeMar wrote:
Not a good idea to merge. Some Asian parents will be very upset. They like their daughters to go to single sex schools because there is no male presence in the form of domineering Asian boys intent on showing they are still superior to the girls. Islam in the 21st century is still a male dominated hierarchy with women the inferior partners. Separate education is the best way to break this 'tradition' and let the women prosper.
Well if you send your kid to a Catholic school you have to accept what's on offer. Personally I would prefer it if religious institutions played no part in main stream education.
[quote][p][bold]MontyLeMar[/bold] wrote: Not a good idea to merge. Some Asian parents will be very upset. They like their daughters to go to single sex schools because there is no male presence in the form of domineering Asian boys intent on showing they are still superior to the girls. Islam in the 21st century is still a male dominated hierarchy with women the inferior partners. Separate education is the best way to break this 'tradition' and let the women prosper.[/p][/quote]Well if you send your kid to a Catholic school you have to accept what's on offer. Personally I would prefer it if religious institutions played no part in main stream education. Albion.
  • Score: 22

12:25pm Mon 17 Feb 14

idleone says...

Also the biggest catholic school with the majority of non catholic pupils....

Certainly NOT what it was in my day as a Bede's Boy!
Also the biggest catholic school with the majority of non catholic pupils.... Certainly NOT what it was in my day as a Bede's Boy! idleone
  • Score: 11

12:52pm Mon 17 Feb 14

Yorkshire Lass says...

It is to be hoped when the schools are merged that the word "Catholic" is erased. If this new combined school is to be one of the largest in the country then I feel that "Catholic" in the titles would be very misleading.
It is to be hoped when the schools are merged that the word "Catholic" is erased. If this new combined school is to be one of the largest in the country then I feel that "Catholic" in the titles would be very misleading. Yorkshire Lass
  • Score: -12

1:20pm Mon 17 Feb 14

Sindymindy says...

To remove the word 'Catholic', from the school is only a good idea if the Church is no longer funding the establishment. Which i personal think is the right thing to do as the decline in catholic's outweigh the percentage of children attending a supposably catholic funded school.
To remove the word 'Catholic', from the school is only a good idea if the Church is no longer funding the establishment. Which i personal think is the right thing to do as the decline in catholic's outweigh the percentage of children attending a supposably catholic funded school. Sindymindy
  • Score: -5

4:23pm Mon 17 Feb 14

The Hoffster says...

MontyLeMar wrote:
Not a good idea to merge. Some Asian parents will be very upset. They like their daughters to go to single sex schools because there is no male presence in the form of domineering Asian boys intent on showing they are still superior to the girls. Islam in the 21st century is still a male dominated hierarchy with women the inferior partners. Separate education is the best way to break this 'tradition' and let the women prosper.
Your comments are very similar to what the scum of the BNP/EDL say.
[quote][p][bold]MontyLeMar[/bold] wrote: Not a good idea to merge. Some Asian parents will be very upset. They like their daughters to go to single sex schools because there is no male presence in the form of domineering Asian boys intent on showing they are still superior to the girls. Islam in the 21st century is still a male dominated hierarchy with women the inferior partners. Separate education is the best way to break this 'tradition' and let the women prosper.[/p][/quote]Your comments are very similar to what the scum of the BNP/EDL say. The Hoffster
  • Score: -4

6:57pm Mon 17 Feb 14

Sindymindy says...

Yorkshire Lass wrote:
It is to be hoped when the schools are merged that the word "Catholic" is erased. If this new combined school is to be one of the largest in the country then I feel that "Catholic" in the titles would be very misleading.
Largest Roman Catholic School
[quote][p][bold]Yorkshire Lass[/bold] wrote: It is to be hoped when the schools are merged that the word "Catholic" is erased. If this new combined school is to be one of the largest in the country then I feel that "Catholic" in the titles would be very misleading.[/p][/quote]Largest Roman Catholic School Sindymindy
  • Score: 1

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