Our School

About our school

Bishop Hedley was established in 1967 due to the growing need to cater for the large populace of Catholic youth aged 11–18 in the Merthyr Tydfil and Heads of the Valleys area. The school was named after John Cuthbert Hedley, Bishop of Newport, who opened the first Roman Catholic Church (St. Illtyd’s) in the Merthyr Valley in 1863. The school was expanded to a second phase in 1973.
The vast majority of the pupils of the school stem from the Heads of the Valleys area, serving parishes from Aberdare, Hirwaun, Merthyr Tydfil, Merthyr Vale, Gurnos, Dowlais, Ebbw Vale, Tredegar and Rhymney.
As of September 2019 the school has 560 pupils on roll from the ages of 11-16.
Bishop Hedley has a main hall, dance and drama studio, gymnasium, two sports halls, football/rugby field, three school yards, three design and technology rooms, learning resources centre, music rehearsal room, three new 21st century science suites, 5 I.C.T. resources rooms and an I.C.T. “room of the future”. There is also a specific SEN and EAL area. The school has also recently refurbished a sports hall, and installed a 3G indoor football and rugby surface.

The facilities

Some of you may have visited the School already and know of its facilities. I would emphasise that these facilities will only benefit your child if they are used properly. Your child will be entering a five-year course of Secondary Education and, in order that he / she may fully benefit from all we have to offer, full co-operation between School and home is necessary throughout the whole five years. This is particularly the case in matters such as homework, conduct, regularity and punctuality of attendance.


I am particularly proud of the concern shown by our staff in respect of the care and progress of each individual pupil, irrespective of that pupil’s ability.

August 2019 saw the pupils achieve the school’s best ever examination results which demonstrates the hard work and commitment of pupils, parents and staff. These results were also the highest ever achieved in the county of Merthyr Tydfil. This also reflects the upward trend taking place within the school over the last five years. The school’s results were above the Welsh average for all key indicators.

ESTYN Report

You may be interested to read a selection of the key comments made by the Inspection team following the School Inspection by ESTYN. It states “Bishop Hedley High School is an excellent example of a Catholic School. Its Christian ethos and sense of purpose enables all pupils to aspire to improve and achieve good standards.” “Bishop Hedley High School continues to be a good school. Pupils achieve well through good teaching and learning in a purposeful atmosphere.” “The good quality of teaching is a major strength of the school.” “Bishop Hedley High School’s examination performance places it among the top 25% of schools with similar intake.”

Praise was given in respect of the detailed assessment of student’s work and the good feedback given on how they can improve. “Standards of teaching were at least satisfactory in 99% of classes seen with 78% being of good or very good standard.” The school’s staff were said to be continually seeking ways to raise standards even further. “Partnership Working” was considered an outstanding feature. A copy of the ESTYN report can also be found on this website.

I conclude by hoping that your children will be happy in Bishop Hedley High School and benefit from their time spent at the School.

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