St Joseph’s Catholic High School is considering converting to academy status along with a group of other Catholic schools in the Diocese of Lancaster.

The school in Workington said that the diocese had been working closely with the Department of Education over the last few months to find a way to form a Multi-Academy Trust.

Consultation with staff, parents, local parishioners and other local schools is currently taking place and will finish on February 12.

The headteacher of St Joseph’s, Jacky Kennedy, said: “As I said in my letter to parents, the Bishop is asking all Catholic schools to convert to academies because he feels that as a group working more closely, we can support and challenge each other to become even better schools.

“I do believe that working more closely will bring benefits, and I am very proud of what St Joseph’s has achieved as a local authority school.”

In addition to St Joseph’s, seven other Catholic schools in Cumbria are also considering joining to form the Mater Christi Multi-Academy Trust.

Among them is Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School in Barrow, whose headteacher Bernie Barnes said he was “aware of some difference in opinion as to the effectiveness of multi academy trusts.”

He added that being part of the Trust would would “enable the governors to better secure the long-term future of our school.”