Who Was Cardinal Heenan?
Our school has been known as Cardinal Heenan Catholic High School since 1983. Previously it has also been called Cardinal Allen, St Catherine's and Leyfield School.
John Carmel Heenan was born on 26th January 1905. He studied at St Ignatius College, Stamford Hill and aged 17 moved to Ushaw Seminary near Durham. At the age of 19 he entered the Venerable English College in Rome. He was ordained in 1930 and was sent to St Ethelburga's in Barking, Essex.
In 1951 John Carmel Heenan was named Bishop of Leeds and there is in fact a Cardinal Heenan Catholic High School in the north of Leeds.
In 1957, he moved to Liverpool as Archbishop where he launched a competition to build a new Catholic cathedral. The result was the consecration of the renowned Metropolitan Cathedral in 1967. However, by that time Archbishop Heenan had moved in 1963 to the Archdiocese of Westminster and in 1965 was created Cardinal.
Cardinal Heenan attended the Vatican Council from 1962 – 1965. He was cautious yet determined about implementing its decisions in his diocese. He furthered ecumenical dialogue through his warm friendship with the Chief Rabbi and the Archbishop of Canterbury.
In 1968 he invited Michael Ramsey, Archbishop of Canterbury to Westminster Cathedral for a ground-breaking visit.
He died on 7 November 1975 aged 70 having suffered with ill-health for the previous decade or so. At his own wish he was buried in the nave of Westminster Cathedral, close to the people he had served, so that he might be assured of their prayers.
His galero (cardinal’s hat) hangs above his tomb to this day.
We fall under the Catholic Diocese of Liverpool and the school is located in Saint Joseph’s Pastoral area. Please follow this link to find out more about our local parishes and churches.
The headteacher provides strong leadership to the school. Newly appointed senior leaders have strengthened the school's capacity to improve outcomes for all pupils.
The leadership of teaching is good. The quality of teaching is improving quickly; professional development is a strong feature of the school.
Progress in modern foreign languages is outstanding.
Teachers build strong relationships with pupils to aid learning.
Learners in the sixth form achieve well and the provision is very well led and managed.
The school promotes pupils' spiritual, moral, social and cultural development effectively.
Pupils have an excellent understanding of British values and the nature of life in modern Britain.
The school provides good care and support to pupils. It works effectively with other services to keep vulnerable pupils safe.
Pupils receive high-quality careers guidance and advice.