School History

In 1825, Dom Bede Polding, a monk of Downside, founded a school in a small cottage at Stratton-on-the-Fosse. This was the first school in the district for village children and was the origin of St Benedict's. Dom Bede Polding later went to Australia in 1835 and was to become the founder of the Catholic Hierarchy there, becoming the first Archbishop of Sydney in 1842.

The official School Log Books date back to 28 August, 1878, when the Education Department became involved, and the number on roll at this time was 31 pupils. An order of nuns came to the school in 1897 and a small convent was built near St Benedict's Church in Stratton-on-the-Fosse. Nuns ran the school until 1965 and the last nun left in July 1968 when the Convent closed.​

The school continued at Stratton-on-the-Fosse until December 1974, and reopened at its present site at Charlton Lane on 7 January 1975. The school was blessed and officially opened by the Rt Rev Mervyn Alexander, Bishop of Clifton on 5 June 1975.​

The school has served the Catholic population around the Stratton-on-the-Fosse area for over 175 years and many of our children's parents and grandparents were at one time pupils of the school.​

St Benedict's is a Voluntary Aided Catholic School. A voluntary aided school is one not established by the Local Authority but by the voluntary body providing the school. In the case of St Benedict's the voluntary body is the Roman Catholic Diocese of Clifton. The majority of the Governors of a VA School are appointed by the voluntary body and are called foundation governors. The others are appointed by the Major and Minor Authority, or elected by the parents and teachers. Teachers are appointed by the Governors subject to the establishment and education qualifications prescribed by the Local Authority. The Governors appoint all other staff.​


​Here are some old pictures of the school:

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