St. John Fisher Catholic Comprehensive School

Ground Breaking Ceremony

Press Release

30th September 2021


Ground Breaking Ceremony for New Build

Work has begun to create a brand-new school which will unite pupils at St John Fisher Catholic Comprehensive School.

Earlier this year, Medway Council granted planning permission for St. John Fisher Catholic Comprehensive School’s new build on City Way. Today’s ceremony marks the formal breaking ground on the build, which is led by Wates Group and backed by the Department for Education, and made possible with the donation of the land from the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Southwark.

Situated at the top of the hill between Chatham and Rochester, with inspiring views looking out across the River Medway, the new build will offer a wide range of teaching spaces, including Multi-Use Games Areas (MUGA) pitches, state-of the-art IT systems, a football pitch, a library, a dance studio, gym and kiln room.

These facilities will be shared with the wider community outside of school hours. A video of the proposed design is available to view on our website at We look forward to moving in to the City Way Site in Spring 2023.


Headteacher Dympna Lennon said

“This is a momentous time for our community. For the first time in the school’s history, we will be a single community. St. John Fisher has been transformed in recent years: we have seen a significant uplift in both our results and our Ofsted rating. Moving to a new school site will help us build on these successes in the years to come. It will provide the outstanding facilities that our students, staff and community deserve as we continue our ongoing mission to be a Catholic school that includes, involves and inspires everyone in it.”


Chair of Governors, Clive Mailing said:

“Whilst this has been a very long while in the making, we now have the fantastic opportunity to provide first-class modern facilities for all our students and staff. This will not only be able to be enjoyed by the majority of our existing students, but for future generations of Medway pupils and our local community.”


Director of Education for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Southwark, Dr. Simon Hughes said:

“We are delighted that we have reached this moment after many years of negotiations and planning. Leaders at the school have transformed the quality of the provision and now deserve the opportunity to take it to the next level that this development affords. Archbishop John sends his blessings to all involved and looks forward to being present at the long-awaited school opening.”


Cllr Martin Potter, Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder for Education and Schools, said:

“I am pleased work has begun on the new school building. This exciting project will create a fantastic learning environment for children and bring the school community together on one site. It also supports our Child-Friendly City ambition, putting children and young people at the heart of everything we do. I look forward to watching the works take shape.”


Wates Representative Richard Shroll, Regional Managing Director – Wates Construction South, said:

“We’re pleased to be awarded the important task of building St. John Fisher Catholic Comprehensive School where we are delighted to have started on site – an appointment that reflects our credibility and experience in the education sector.

At Wates, we understand how learning environments have a direct impact upon the development of young people and attainment levels and we bring our appreciation to every stage of the process.

Everything we do is guided by our purpose of working together to inspire better ways of creating the places, communities and businesses of tomorrow.”


About the Wates Group

The Wates Group, established in 1897, is one of the leading privately-owned construction, residential development, and property services businesses in the UK.  We employ approximately 3,700 people and work with a wide range of public and private sector customers and partners. 

Everything we do is guided by our purpose of working together to inspire better ways of creating the places, communities, and businesses of tomorrow.  Now in its fourth generation of family ownership, the Wates Group is committed to the long-term sustainability of the built environment and is working to eliminate carbon from its operations by 2025. 

To fulfil our ambition to be a truly inclusive employer and to reflect the richness of the communities in which it is our privilege to work, we are committed to doubling the proportion of women at all levels of our business, encouraging more people with disabilities to work in our sector and to becoming more ethnically diverse.  In 2021 we won the award for Private Sector Leadership at the National Social Value Awards. 

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Additional enquiries can be directed to Senior Deputy Headteacher, Mr. McCaughan, on