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Thomas Deacon Education Trust

Thomas Deacon Education Trust (TDET) commemorates its historic legacy at Peterborough Cathedral

A prestigious commemorative service was held at Peterborough Cathedral on Tuesday 6th February to honour the legacies of early education ambassadors Thomas Deacon and Queen Katharine of Aragon. The cathedral is home to memorial sites for both historical figures.

The service, which takes place annually, was led by The Very Revd Christopher Dalliston, Dean of Peterborough and was attended by students and key members of staff from Thomas Deacon Academy Queen Katharine Academy and Gladstone Primary Academy, three of TDET’s seven academies.

The service began with an introduction from John Turner, Chair of Thomas Deacon Foundation, which works closely with TDET to preserve Thomas Deacon’s legacy, and Emily Gaunt, Acting Principal of Thomas Deacon Academy.

Junior pupils from Gladstone Primary Academy and Thomas Deacon Academy then gave a presentation about historical philanthropist Thomas Deacon and his achievements, and his legacy to education in Peterborough.

The Principal Students from Thomas Deacon Academy, and Deputy Head Student of Queen Katharine Academy also gave thoughtful readings beside the memorials of their academies’ namesakes.

The Trust’s Combined Cadet Force (CCF) were a central part of the service and were brought to attention to lay a wreath on Thomas Deacon’s memorial and a pomegranate, Queen Katherine’s personal emblem, on her burial place. The service ended with a reflective reading from Adam Stevens, TDET Director of Resources, followed by closing prayers.

Adam Stevens, TDET Director of Resources, said: “Our Trust has a unique legacy and it is an honour to commemorate its founder and two of our academies’ namesakes at their memorial sites.

“Thomas Deacon opened a small charity school in Peterborough in 1722 which has transformed over 300 years into TDET, educating more than 5,000 students in our local area. Our commemorative service is always a moving occasion and it is wonderful to see students from academies across TDET, as well as the Trust-wide CCF, take a central part in recognising our Trust’s history.”

Philip Masterson, Principal of Queen Katharine Academy, said: “Queen Katharine’s historical legacy as an advocate for education and its potential to change lives continues today. She was a courageous, compassionate figure and was chosen as the name of our academy due to her positive attributes and values, which are just as important to our students today as they were centuries ago. We were immensely proud to come together to recognise and celebrate her achievements.”