Chichester schools renamed as part of 're-launch'

Two Chichester schools have been renamed as part of a 're-launch' bringing them closer together.

Lancastrian Infant School and Central CE Junior Academy changed their names to St. Joseph's Infant School and St. Joseph's CE Junior School today (Friday, September 9).

The move has come as the schools 're-launch' themselves and hope to share information and expertise across the sites.

A celebration was held at the school and staff, pupils and parents enjoyed bouncy castles, tea and cake and songs from the children.

James Stanbridge (DCAT trustee), Mark Talbot (DCAT CEO), Claire Apel (councillor), Lisa Hardy (executive headteacher), Nick Taunt (vice chair of DCAT) and David Brixey (chair of St Joseph's governing body)

Lisa Hardy is executive headteacher across both schools.

Speaking to this newspaper, she said: "I fell in love with the school's amazing children and it being in the middle of a city — what more could you want?

"We are using this opportunity to make it the best that it can be. Parents are being really supportive of the changes and we have got a strong leadership team and a team of strong staff."

Mrs Hardy acknowledged that the school, formerly Central CE Academy, 'hasn't had the best name over the years' but said she was confident the two would now move from strength to strength.

Chair of governors, David Brixey, said both school's have been 'rapidly' improving in recent months.

He added: "We have a strong vision for this being a really strong community offer for the families in the area.

"The standards in both schools are now really good and the numbers of children is rising. The cause of the new name is part of a re-launch of the two schools. Today is about celebrating that.

"It has given us an opportunity to make sure we have a really good relationship between the schools and to share the expertise of staff."

They are both academies with the Diocese of Chichester Academy Trust (DCAT)

Diocese of Chichester Academy Trust chief executive officer, Mark Talbot, said: "It was wonderful to attend the celebration event today. The children with their new uniforms looked so smart as they sang together.

"The school is going from strength to strength under the leadership of Mrs Hardy and her team. We all look forward to an exciting future as St Joseph's."

Mrs Hardy and Mr Brixey added: "Our Academy Trustees put forward a shortlist of Saints’ name's to reflect the character of the Trust.

"The Governors chose St Joseph’ because we felt his life fitted best with the values of the two schools. Mrs Hardy has recently led a worship with the children about St Joseph who is often known to them through a nativity play.

"St Joseph also demonstrated patient authority in nurturing the child Jesus with wisdom, which is part of the Church of England vision for Education. St Joseph also models the dignity of human labour which gives encouragement to those whose strength is in the practical aspects of learning."