Friday, October 05, 2012

The catholic school issue

It's not hard to get lost in the Great School Debate that's filling in the RTT front page and letters column, let alone several Facebook groups -and even this blog: On the LBRUT's catholic obsession.

In the latest amazing twist, the council issued a press release with a very personal and combative langage against the opposition figurehead, Jeremy Rodell: Secretary of State for Education confirms Council decision on Catholic Schools is lawful - London Borough of Richmond upon Thames.
Not quite what you'd expect from a lord...

What's the issue then?
In a nutshell, the council is spending £8.5 millions to buy a site for a catholic school, to be run by the Diocese of Westminster (with a dotted line to the pope in Rome then). The admission policy means that with 10% of catholics in the borough, over 70% of pupils will be from outside. The council argued that there's no NEED for secondary schools, and that therefore I'd be nice to have a catholic school, as there are primary catholic schools but the secondary ones had long been closed.

Maybe I'm being naive, but I view this as simple supply and demand question. If there were more good grammar schools, surely parents would put their children in state schools instead of going private?


1 comment:

Ludo Windsor said...

Here's a rectification after Jeremy Roddell contacted me to correct some facts.

- The the pupils in the schools (there are two of them - 150 place/yr secondary and 30 place/yr primary) will most likely all be from within the borough, not 70% from outside. There are more than enough children coming out of the 6 Catholic primaries to fill the secondary.

- The issue is that it will be effectively closed to 90% or so of local children simply because their parents are not Catholics. Catholic parents will have the choice of the new school, plus the exclusive Catholic schools they already use across the borough boundaries, plus (rightly) the same chance as everyone else at the existing community schools. Simply unjust.