Bishop Hedley High School
Catchment Area, Reviews and Key Information

School Guide Rating

Gwaunfarren Road
Merthyr Tydfil
CF47 9AN
11 - 16
Secondary (ages 11-16)
4 1 1 2 3 4
Estyn grade
Full Report
% Pupils achieving 5+ GSCEs A*-C inc. English/Welsh and Maths
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School Description

Bishop Hedley Catholic High School is an 11-16 comprehensive school in Merthyr Tydfil. There are 519 pupils on roll. These figures are slightly lower than at the time of the previous core inspection, as the school no longer has a sixth form. The school was last inspected in 2013. The school receives pupils mostly from seven associated Catholic primary schools. These schools cover a wide area including Merthyr Tydfil, Merthyr Vale, Gurnos, Hirwaun, Aberdare, Ebbw Vale, Brynmawr, Tredegar and Rhymney. The school welcomes pupils of all faiths and those with no faith background. The percentage of pupils eligible for free school meals is 20.6%, which is above the national average of 16.4% for secondary schools. The school has about 26% of pupils on the special educational needs register, which is higher than the national average of 22.9% for secondary schools. About 1% of pupils have a statement of special educational needs, which is lower than the national average of 2.2%. Around 29% of pupils come from minority ethnic groups and about 27% of pupils come from homes where English is not the first language. Almost no pupils speak Welsh at home. The interim headteacher took up post in 2018. There is an interim deputy headteacher, and three assistant headteachers. The school is currently a curriculum pioneer school and is working with the Welsh Government and other schools to take forward developments relating to curriculum reform. Further information is available from the Welsh Government My Local School website at the link below. 1 A report on Bishop Hedley High School November 2018 Summary Bishop Hedley Catholic High School successfully fulfils its aims of encouraging and educating its pupils in an extremely caring and inclusive Christian ethos. Pupils are proud to be members of the school, they engage positively with their learning and behave exceptionally well. They make strong progress in developing their knowledge, understanding and skills, and the standards that they reach overall are well above expectations. Pupils also develop strong social skills and they have a particularly mature understanding and respect for people from other backgrounds, faiths and traditions. Leaders and staff provide strong direction and support for the achievement of high standards and the exceptional level of care, support and guidance for pupils. The overall quality of teaching is consistently effective, as is the overall learning experience. The valuable and extensive programme of professional learning activities successfully promotes the school as a strong learning community, for both pupils and staff. Inspection area Judgement Standards Excellent Wellbeing and attitudes to learning Excellent Teaching and learning experiences Good Care, support and guidance Excellent Leadership and management Good 2 A report on Bishop Hedley High School November 2018 Recommendations R1 Improve the impact of teacher feedback to pupils R2 Strengthen the provision to develop pupils’ ICT, numeracy and Welsh language skills in meaningful contexts across the curriculum R3 Ensure that all improvement processes focus consistently on the impact of teaching and pupil outcomes What happens next The school will draw up an action plan to address the recommendations from the inspection. Estyn will invite the school to prepare a case study on its work in relation to care, support and guidance, for dissemination on Estyn’s website.

Bishop Hedley High School Catchment Area Map

This pupil heat map shows where pupils currently attending the school live.

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heatmap example
All attending pupils
Pupil Level Annual School Census 2020
Pupil heat map key

How many pupils attending the school live in the area?


The concentration of pupils shows likelihood of admission based on distance criteria

01685 724620

This School Guide heat map has been plotted using official pupil data taken from the Pupil Level Annual School Census collected by the Welsh Government. The data tells us where pupils lived at the time of the last Pupil Census (released annually in July).

Our heat maps use groups of postcodes, not individual postcodes, and have naturally soft edges. All pupils are included in the mapping (i.e. children with siblings already at the school, high priority pupils and selective and/or religious admissions) but we may have removed statistical ‘outliers’ with more remote postcodes that do not reflect majority admissions.

For some schools, the heat map may be a useful indicator of the catchment area but our heat maps are not the same as catchment area maps. Catchment area maps, published by the school or local authority, are based on geographical admissions criteria and show actual cut-off distances and pre-defined catchment areas for a single admission year.

This information is provided as a guide only. The areas from which pupils are admitted to a school can change from year to year to reflect the number of siblings and pupils admitted under high priority admissions criteria.

3 steps to help parents gather catchment information for a school:

  1. Look at our school catchment area guide for more information on heat maps. They give a useful indicator of the general areas that admit pupils to the school. This visualisation is based on all attending pupils present at the time of the annual School Census.
  2. Use the link to the Local Authority Contact (above) to find catchment area information based on a single admission year. This is very important if you are considering applying to a school.
  3. On each school page, use the link to visit the school website and find information on individual school admissions criteria. Geographical criteria are only applied after pupils have been admitted on higher priority criteria such as Looked After Children, SEN, siblings, etc.

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