Christ the King College principal to receive Papal Award

The Principal of an Isle of Wight College is to be honoured by The Pope who has also agreed to pray for the College.

Thanks to Chris Whitehouse for this news from Christ the King College. Ed

Mrs Pat Goodhead, Principal of Christ the King College, Newport, is to be made a Dame of the Papal Equestrian Order of Saint Gregory the Great in recognition of her service to the Catholic Church.

Pat GoodheadThe Award will be presented at the College later in the term by the Catholic Bishop of Portsmouth, Bishop Phlip Egan, and is one of the highest Awards given by the Catholic Church. Such Awards are made only on the personal authority of His Holiness Pope Francis and are seldom made to those who are not themselves Catholics.

Speaking today, Bishop Philip Egan says:

“I am absolutely delighted at the Award the Holy Father has given to Patricia Goodhead. This is surely a recognition of the wonderful service she have given to education on the Isle of Wight, and also of her care and support of all Christians, not least to the Catholic community on the Island.”

David Lisseter, the Chairman of Christ the King’s Governing body, adds:

“I would like to express my delight at the award and its recognition of the work and dedication of Mrs Goodhead as leader of our now nationally respected College.”

Mrs Goodhead responded to news of the Award saying:

“It is a great privilege to be the recipient of such a prestigious award. The news came as a complete surprise, rendering me unusually speechless but deeply grateful to those who deem me worthy of this honour. However, this is much more than a personal achievement; it is really a tribute to all those who have worked, and continue to work with me, to secure Catholic and Christian Secondary Education on the Isle of Wight. I count myself blessed to have such a wonderful job working daily with young people, and I would like to thank everyone who has supported me in the journey to achieve faith based education for current and future generations.“

Island MP, Andrew Turner, who knows the College well, sent his own message saying:

“I am delighted for Pat. This is well-deserved. The work she has done at Christ the King College has transformed the chances of many Island youngsters.”

Pop to pray for Christ the King College
Cllr Chris Whitehouse (Conservative, Newport West) who is a parent of children at Christ the King and is the College’s local councillor, added:

“By force of personality and sheer determination Mrs Goodhead has driven forward Christ the King to be the top performing state school on the Island, spiritually, pastorally and educationally, often in the teeth of determined opposition. I salute her on this splendid recognition of her contribution. I had the privilege of being invited to attend on Sunday (1st September) a Private Audience with His Holiness Pope Francis in the Vatican. I was astounded to be presented to him and have a few quiet words. I thanked him for the award of this honour to our Principal and asked him to pray for the College’s continued flourishing: Pope Francis agreed and asked in return that the College pray for him, which I am confident they will do with gusto!”

Father Gerard Flynn, parish priest of St Thomas of Canterbury Church, Newport, a Governor of the College, says:

“Christian and Catholic education on the Isle of Wight is affirmed in this well-deserved award to Mrs Goodhead who exemplifies many hard working and faithful professionals in our schools. They are striving to help our pupils know the reality of Christ’s promise that ‘I have come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ Well done, Dame Pat!”

Father PJ Smith, parish priest of the South Wight, also a Governor of the College, added:

“Mrs Goodhead works tirelessly for the good of the community of Christ the King College. She has not just led our college to be a beacon of excellence, but also, a beacon of Christ’s light here on the Isle of Wight – I am delighted that this light has been recognised by our Holy Father.“

Cllr Richard Priest (Independent, Shanklin South), who is the Cabinet Member for Schools on the Isle of Wight Council, endorsed the award, saying:

“This award recognises the contribution that Pat has made to the lives and learning of children over many years, as well as the commitment and dedication she has given to the community she serves.“

Just like Hogwarts?
Fraser Norris, who lives in Ryde and is a sixth form student at the College, says:

“I am sure I speak for all the students when I say congratulations and well done to Mrs Goodhead. She has been a strong and visible leader of our College community and this news is simply fantastic. She even gets to wear a cloak; it’ll be just like Hogwarts!”

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Tuesday, 3rd September, 2013 2:18pm



Filed under: Carisbrooke, Education, Island-wide, Isle of Wight News, Newport, Top story

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Any views or opinions presented in the comments below are solely those of the author and do not represent those of OnTheWight.


  1. retiredhack

    3.Sep.2013 6:07pm

    The immodest Chris Whitehouse, in his self-quotation, uses the word “I” five times (far more than anyone else), and also manages to get in a dig at unspecified political opponents in what, for everyone else, is simply a “good news” story. Politics and religion don’t really mix, Chris. Not like this, anyway.

  2. Cllr Chris Whitehouse

    3.Sep.2013 7:30pm

    For the record, the opponents who fought the success of the College were primarily Steve Beynon and Roger Edwardson. Nothing to do with politics! I shall pray for you.

    Cllr Chris Whitehouse (Conservative, Newport West)

  3. No other councillor (or anyone else) seems to feel the need to have a fullsome name-and-job tag for their posts as does Chris. That, along with the way he takes centre stage with Pat Goodhead in this article, (perhaps trumping her with his account of meeting the pope), leads me to agree with retiredhack.

    Chris’ unasked for “I shall pray for you” sounds presumptuous, supercilious, even offensive. True prayer would be made without comment, without grandstanding. Rather proves retiredhack’s point, that retaliating with this remark is mixing point-scoring with religion.

  4. woodworker

    3.Sep.2013 9:29pm

    Why is it that even on a good, upbeat story, some have to criticise Chris Whitehouse? Im no fan of his, infact the opposite, but surely it is better to focus on the fact that, politics and religion aside, Christ the King has proven itself to be a good school and the kids are getting good results. I know the head has worked hard – so have the kids and other staff.
    Other schools should be seeking to emulate this, and those people who criticise a politician who helped do what was needed to make CTK a success need to be ignored. Its not about politics, its about hard working kids and staff succeeding. Lets hope they can now find a way to help other schools on the island succeed as well.

    • kevin Barclay-Jay

      3.Sep.2013 9:41pm

      as someone absolutely opposed to religious schools and teaching of these fanatasies at school, I treat this story with disdain.

      I thought this was a co religious school, not a catholic one.

      Maybe the prayer will help with the man recently arrested at the school for abusing his position

      • woodworker

        3.Sep.2013 10:18pm

        who gives a damn if its a religious school? if that helps kids to succeed then fine.

        it is a school with a christian ethos. Catholics are christian. so are other denominations. Does that mean the pope cant recognise the head? no, of course not.

        I would imagine the only thing that might help that man would be a good lawyer.

        Now… what does any of that have to do with the fact that the school, its staff, and most importantly its student, are succeeding, achieving good results, are already helping pass that achievement to the primary school next door, and have been recognised by the pope?
        Its all well and good being opposed to religious schools – but if a religious school is succeeding, then state schools should learn from it. Incidentally, I dont think CTK is a religious school. It does not teach solely religion. It is better characterised as a school with a religious ethos, in this case christian.

        • kevin Barclay-Jay

          4.Sep.2013 2:38pm

          I clearly said..I treat THIS story with disdain.

          The school should be applauded for its results..being the flagship for the previous administration obviously helped

          • woodworker

            4.Sep.2013 6:23pm

            you also clearly say

            “as someone absolutely opposed to religious schools and teaching of these fanatasies at school”


            “I thought this was a co religious school, not a catholic one.”

            oh, and this too

            “Maybe the prayer will help with the man recently arrested at the school for abusing his position”

            Now that sounds like someone criticising the school in general, not just this story.

          • Don Smith

            4.Sep.2013 11:30pm

            Brain washing the young – I wonder if Charles Darwin is on the curriculum? I doubt it very much.
            Catch em young and fill their heads with a load of fairy stories.

        • “Give me a child until he is seven and I will give you the man”. (Jesuits)

      • With comments like this I’m pleased you never quite made it in as a councillor…

        • kevin Barclay-Jay

          4.Sep.2013 2:39pm

          Why … aren’t aethists allowed opinions?

          • woodworker

            4.Sep.2013 7:34pm

            of course they are – but some tolerance of those who hold different opinions to yours might be nice. Atheism is a choice not to believe in religion, not carte blanche to criticise those who do hold religious beliefs, or those schools which have a religious ethos.

          • Atheism is as much a “religion” as mono-theist and multi-theist religions.

            * It has its “saints” (Dawkins and Hitchens among others).

            * It has its “sacred books”- “The God Delusion” by Hawkins and “God is not Great” by Hitchens (among others).

            * It has “temples/mosques/churches” where its disciples meet to reaffirm their faith.

            * The US has declared that atheism is a religion and extended the tax breaks to atheist organizations.

  5. steephilljack

    4.Sep.2013 2:40am

    Yes, well done staff, students, governors and all those who contributed to this achievement.
    It has nothing to do with God the Father, his son Jesus or any other supernatural agent.
    The name of this school tells us what the focus is and, for some of us, it is all superstitious nonsense.
    The reception area of our new primary school in Ventnor has prayers from pupils displayed on a board: “Dear God, Thank you for our lovely new school”.
    Anyway, how does prayer work ? I never understood that.

  6. retiredhack

    4.Sep.2013 10:52am

    I’m sorry this has turned into a rant based on religious intolerance on the part of one or two people. Religious intolerance is the cause of a lot of the world’s problems.

    Church schools are nothing new and by and large they do a good job, aspitational parents and all. And the Pope’s perfectly entitled to have his say if he wants to.

    My point was simply to question Chris Whitehouse’s motives in presenting the story in the way he did, managing, on the face of it, to turn it largely into a story about him going to meet the Pope. Don’t forget that this is the master of spin who told Newport West voters he lived “to the west of Newport” when in fact he lives in Totland. Me, me. look at me…

    • kevin Barclay-Jay

      4.Sep.2013 2:42pm

      religion is the cause of a lot of problems in the world..being opposed to religion isn’t

      Chris Whitehouse presents himself in such a way as the next leader of the Island Tories, possible MP and possible Head of the council

      • Religion is not the cause its the people who use religion for there own ends.If there were no religion man would find something else to use as an excuse for violence etc

      • retiredhack

        4.Sep.2013 6:50pm

        Kevin, I entirely agree with your analysis of Chris Whitehouse’s political ambitions. That’s precisely why I’m cynical of the self-aggrandisement in his report of the CTK head’s award.
        But not let’s tar all Christians with the same brush. Whether you hold a faith or not, there’s plenty in Christian ethics, to do with social responsiblilty, which serves us well.
        And as to religious intolerance, surely it’s when different faiths, egged on by self-serving politicians, decide they won’t live together in peace, that the problems start. And in that respect, militant athesists are no better than Crusaders (George W Bush) or the people advocating religious-based intolerance (on both sides) in the West.
        Atheism is a perfectly respectable tradition. But it shouldn’t be rammed down anyone’s throat any more than religion.

      • steephilljack

        4.Sep.2013 9:05pm

        Another Pugh in waiting. God help us !

        • woodworker

          4.Sep.2013 9:25pm

          God help us indeed. Pugh has been gone since May and still people bring him up. Hes gone. Lets talk about something that matters.

          • steephilljack

            5.Sep.2013 3:30am

            But we have learnt from him and he’s still dangerous.

          • woodworker

            5.Sep.2013 6:02pm

            No. He’s not. Stop being so paranoid and move on.

          • steephilljack

            5.Sep.2013 9:21pm

            I was talking about Chris Whitehouse being another Tory with personal political ambitions, just like Pugh. IoW is just a stepping stone in their career.
            I know Pugh has gone, but the gap is open for the next one: just like a vacant wildlife terriTory ready to be filled by a mammal of the same species.

  7. Ian Young

    4.Sep.2013 12:29pm

    As the Archbishop of Canterbury was saying to me only the other day these Tories are a rum lot, quick to attach themselves to anything successful, and just as quick to distance themselves from their obvious failures.

    Bob joined us for coffee, Schools praying for Popes –Popes praying for Schools, it’s all beyond me he muttered, it’s easy to see without looking to far not much is really sacred. Wise words Mr Dylan I said ,wise words.

    Personally I have to admire Cllr Whitehouse, to be a supporter of two organisations that most Islanders see as, at best, disreputable takes real courage, only the Masons for a hat trick.

  8. steephilljack

    4.Sep.2013 9:02pm

    Religious intolerance is a religious tradition, not an atheist one. Prods vs Catholics, Sunnis vs Shias, Christians vs Jews, Islamics vs Jews: just mix em up and they will fight to kill. Irrational beliefs lead to irrational behaviour.
    Atheists are entitled to be councillors because they represent a group of voters, and they should not have to face prayers at the start of meetings.
    Atheists have strong morals and principles without the supernatural mumbo-jumbo of Christian mythology. They make their own decisions about right and wrong and live accordingly.
    Innocent and vulnerable children should not be indoctrinated with this superstitious nonsense.
    Religious schools should be private and paid for by those who believe. Why should I pay council tax to support Christian propaganda?

  9. unistudent

    4.Sep.2013 11:54pm

    Classic disgruntled Isle of Wight folk finding something to moan about when we should all be celebrating the achievements of Mrs. Goodhead, and the fact that the Pope is praying for the school! (something which would have gone unmentioned had Cllr. Whitehouse not reported it!)

    Must you ALWAYS be so negative?

    • steephilljack

      5.Sep.2013 3:28am

      Is the god of the Christians Protestant, Catholic or Orthodox ?
      Does a prayer from the Pope count for more than a prayer from our Queen Elizabeth who is head of the Church of England ?

    • woodworker

      5.Sep.2013 6:03pm

      well said unistudent.

      • ….from that well known positive person: woodworker.

        • woodworker

          5.Sep.2013 8:09pm

          grow up and stop making personal comments.

          • As ‘personal’ comments go, doesn’t really compare with your telling a poster here “Stop being so paranoid”. [Over and out on this].

          • woodworker

            5.Sep.2013 9:59pm

            his comment seemed paranoid. its not a personal reflection, its a reflection on what he said. In any case – please grow up. Comment on the story, not on me.

          • ….and your comments often ‘seem’ negative towards posters.

            You didn’t say it was the poster’s comment you were referring to, you directed your remark ‘at’ him.

            But if you comfort yourself with “It’s not a personal reflection, its a reflection on what he said”, try applying that to my comment. Sauce for the goose etc..

            Whatever personal instructions you issue, none accepted, now or subsequently, thanks.

          • Sally Perry

            6.Sep.2013 9:51am

            There is a risk of this discussion turning into petty bickering. Please can we keep on the topic of the article.

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