A ‘compelling drive’ to improve education for communities in the North East has seen a Newcastle-based academies trust receive a prestigious award. The Bishop Bewick Catholic Education Trust took the award for Growth and Impact at a recent event held in London for multi-academy trust excellence, facing competition from four other nominees.

We are delighted that the work we have all undertaken since 2019 in bringing 39 of us together, has been recognised and celebrated. This award just underlines what a massive accomplishment establishing our new Trust has been, and is owned by everyone from across our community of schools,” said Chief Executive Anita Bath.

It feels like a great validation of the way we have grown so rapidly together and how we approach supporting one another to provide the very best opportunities for children in the North East,” she added.

The trust provides Catholic education in the north of the Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle and has schools from Blyth, on the Northumberland coast, to Walbottle. It is based at the Sacred Heart Catholic High School in Fenham, Newcastle, and looks after almost 40 schools.

Their commitment to social justice through educational excellence and a collaborative approach to school development,” said the winner’s citation.

The trust has a key value of collaboration and instils the value of ‘we have to be greater than the sum of our parts’ to all its schools.

We are no longer islands working individually for our own schools, staff and pupils. By harnessing the strengths we have collectively, we have so much more capacity to support and improve the education of all the children within the Bishop Bewick,” says its values statement.

Three members of the trust’s staff travelled to London’s Plaza Hotel, Victoria, for the inaugural awards ceremony from Optimus Education, and they joined 300 guests representing Trusts which had been shortlisted for a variety of categories.

The trust is named in honour of John William Bewick, born in 1824, the son of a Northumberland gamekeeper. He was ordained in 1850 and was the third Bishop of Hexham and Newcastle. He died aged 62 in 1886 and is buried in Gosforth.

For more information about BCCET, please visit www.bccet.org.uk.