Paving the way – St Bede’s Catholic Academy are facilitating national efforts to increase attendance in schools:

St Bede’s Catholic Academy, based in Newton in Stockton, has been chosen as one of eighteen schools nationally to become a new attendance hub. Brought in by the Department for Education to combat a trend of falling attendance since the Covid-19 pandemic, attendance hubs have been opened in schools with effective attendance practice. Through their hubs, lead schools will share their strategies and resources for improving pupils’ attendance. St Bede’s was selected to be an attendance hub by Schools Minister, Nick Gibb for its “excellent” rate of pupil attendance and attainment.

Bernadette Rizzi-Allan, Headteacher of St Bede’s, said “We couldn’t be prouder to have been identified by the Schools’ Minister as one of only a few schools to help lead the Department For Education’s national attendance drive. We are absolutely committed to reaching out, removing barriers and building relationships between the school, pupils and parents to ensure consistently high attendance levels.”


Bernadette Rizzi-Allan also commended the work of the all the dedicated staff, pupils, and parents for helping St Bede’s to achieve excellent attendance, she added, “It takes a whole school to improve attendance; at St Bede’s, school attendance is everyone’s responsibility, teachers, teaching assistants and admin staff all know that it’s right at the top of our agenda.”


Mike Shorten, CEO of Bishop Hogarth Catholic Education Trust, said “Everyone at the Trust is thrilled and proud that the unrelenting dedication of Bernie and the whole school team has been acknowledged by the DfE. It is so important that every child attends school every day. It is great that St Bede’s has been recognised and will now be able to support other schools in the region.”