Blessed Hugh Faringdon Catholic School

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Blessed Hugh Faringdon Catholic School
Blessed Hugh Faringdon Catholic School logo.svg
Motto Nihil Nisi Deo
(Nothing without God)
Type Comprehensive voluntary aided school[1]
Religion Roman Catholic
Headteacher Dr Simon Uttley
Founder Archbishop John Henry King
Location Fawley Road
RG30 3EP
51°29′24″N 0°52′19″W / 51.490°N 0.872°W / 51.490; -0.872Coordinates: 51°29′24″N 0°52′19″W / 51.490°N 0.872°W / 51.490; -0.872
Local authority Reading
DfE URN 110107 Tables
Ofsted Reports
Students 850
Gender Mixed
Ages 11–18
Colours Maroon

Blessed Hugh Faringdon is a Catholic state secondary school in Reading in Berkshire, England. The school has approximately 850 pupils on roll and around 100 teaching and non teaching staff. The school specialises in Mathematics and the Performing Arts. Blessed Hugh Faringdon is one of the many Catholic schools in and around Reading but the only secondary and is under the Trusteeship of the Diocese of Portsmouth. The school is a member of the Partners in Excellence group of schools.


Blessed Hugh Faringdon was founded in the 1958 by and for the Catholic Community in Reading. £200,000 was raised by the Catholic Community to purchase the land and build the school. The efforts were led by Archbishop John Henry King who encouraged the parishes of Reading to raise money through subscriptions, garden fetes, bazaars and bank loans.

The school was named after Hugh Faringdon, who was a member of the Order of Saint Benedict and was elected abbot of Reading Abbey in 1520. He frequently entertained King Henry VIII at the abbey, but in 1539, at the time of the dissolution of the monasteries, he was indicted for high treason and was executed opposite the present St James's Church. He was declared a martyr and beatified by Pope Leo XIII in 1895.[2][3]

The school opened in 1958 to 60 pupils and the first Governing Body consisted of 9 people including Canon Murphy, and Fathers Kirk, Collins, O'Malley and Donnelly. The first of the school's Headteachers was appointed, Mr MP Healy, and he stayed for 18 years. The school celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2008. The current Headteacher is Dr Simon Uttley, who has led the school since Easter 2017.

In 2013 72% of pupils achieved 5 A*-C GCSE grades including English and Maths, and 100% of pupils achieved 5 A*-C grades. Its Value Added figure for this was 1,043.3, against a national average of 1,000. This placed the school in the top 2% of schools in England using the Raiseonline measure. In November 2013 the Sunday Times published its list of the top 500 state schools and BHF was placed at number 472, placing it in the top 10% of schools in England.

The school received a section 8 OFSTED, October 2017, where the school was once again judged to be "Good" with, unusual for an Ofsted report, behaviour described as "typically superb"[4]. The school received a Portsmouth Diocesan Section 48 inspection in June 2013 and was graded "Good with outstanding features".

The school holds the International Schools award, the UNICEF Rights Respecting Foundation Award and is part of the iCan charity Secondary Talks programme.

The school is part of the Business in the Community Reading cluster and has been partnered with the Prudential, a local Reading company.

In 2009 the Diocese of Portsmouth inspection reported; " BHF is a good Catholic School, where the spiritual and moral formation of young people is a strength".


  1. ^ DFES Performance Tables[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ Cross, Claire (September 2004). "Cook, Hugh". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 2009-06-12. 
  3. ^ "Blessed Hugh Faringdon (d. 1539), Last Abbot of Reading Abbey". Reading's Great People. Reading Borough Libraries. Retrieved 2009-06-12. 
  4. ^, Ofsted Communications Team. (2010-11-05). "Find an inspection report". Retrieved 2017-11-22. 


External links[edit]

Official website