OFSTED Inspection, November 2018


Read about our school full of “articulate, courteous and polite” students who display “excellent attitudes to their learning”. This is a journey of school improvement and we have only just got started.

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Highest number of applications for places in Year 7 next year since 2005!

Mass of Thanksgiving - 16 July 2014

On Wednesday evening I was deeply moved by the wonderful Mass and the celebration that followed. I was able to meet lots of parents there and to thank them in person for all that they have given me in my time in the school. There are many things that I am proud of about our school but one of the real highlights was the privilege of being one of you - a parent of students in our school. Christina and I were delighted to send our three children to St Thomas Aquinas not because I was headteacher but because it is a great school. And a huge part of the reason for that is the commitment and support you have always given as parents.

During my time at Aquinas I have been responsible for about 5,000 students some of whom are now nearly 40 years old and indeed are parents of students in the school themselves. I do not know them all but I am immensely proud of their many and various achievements.

A big thank you to all who made this a such a special evening.

Mr Foley

Mass of Thanksgiving to mark the retirement of Headteacher
On the evening of Wednesday 16th July a very special Mass was held in at St Thomas Aquinas Catholic School. The Mass was held both in thanksgiving and as a celebration for our Head teacher, Jim Foley, who was retiring after 21 years of service to the school.

Our sports hall became our church and over 300 people, made up of many past and present staff, colleagues from other schools, representatives from the Diocese, the police force, parents and former and present students joined  Mr Foley, his wife Christina, sons Peter and Joe and close family and friends.
Msg Tim Menzies concelebrated Mass and was joined by our school Chaplain Fr. Jan Nowotnik, former staff member Fr. Bill Wilton, former Chaplain’s Fr. Stefan Lazcyk  and Fr. Michael  Neylon, local parish priests Fr. Gary Buckby and Fr Denis O’Connor and Mr Foley’s former Parish Priest Fr. Michael Ho.

Mr Foley has been at the forefront of Catholic secondary education in Birmingham since he led the Secondary School Catholic Partnership for several years before he was appointed head teacher of St Thomas Aquinas, and the evening was a fitting tribute to Mr Foley’s contribution both to our school, the Catholic community and to education in Birmingham.

After Communion Mr Foley was presented with a Papal Blessing, by Annette Duffy and Ann Gannon as Chair and Vice Chair of Governors, in recognition of his service and commitment to Catholic Education. The Governors also presented him with the ‘Jim Foley Award’. This is a new award which will be presented annually at our Governors Awards evening to a nominated student who has made a special contribution to the Spiritual Life of our school.

Following the Mass Marina Kelly, former Deputy Head of our school and now Headteacher of Cardinal Newman Catholic Secondary School in Coventry, gave a humorous and reflective speech about her personal experience of working with Mr Foley and spoke about the difference he has made to our school, including leading the school to being declared outstanding by OFSTED in 2011.

At the end of the evening Mr Foley spoke movingly about his love for teaching and our school, these coming second only to his wife, Christina, his family and of course Manchester United Football Club!

The evening was a fitting celebration marking the end of an era at our school.

Anne-Marie Tibbits
Lay Chaplain

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