2014_03 RISC Press Release : Turing House School deferral

The news that Turing House school will not open as planned this September, and the disruption to parents and children it has caused, is a direct consequence of Lord True's Cabinet's decision to prioritise an exclusive Catholic school.

A couple of years ago, they decided, despite local outrage, that the top priority for the only available secondary school site in the borough - Clifden Road Twickenham - should be an exclusive Catholic school. At the same time their own plans assumed another secondary would open before long, and they knew that Clifden Road was the preferred site for what is now known as Turing House. They decided to give the site and buildings to the Catholic Church on a 125 year peppercorn lease.

We now hear that Turing House, which the government approved to open in September 2014, and which was over-subscribed, has been told it can't open this year after all because no permanent site has yet been secured. At the same time, this is the first year in which applications for places at existing secondaries exceeded supply. And the Catholic school at Clifden Road, St.Richard Reynold's Catholic High School, has offered 100% of its places only to children of churchgoers.

Hopefully Turing House will secure its site and be able to open in 2015. In the meantime, Lord True and his friends must be held to account for their shameful decision to prioritise faith-based discrimination over fairness.