RISC UPDATE 09 MARCH 2014
To Richmond Inclusive Schools Campaign supporters .
Offers for secondary school places are out. If you're directly affected and want to share anything on this with the RISC community, you can do it on Twitter (twitter.com/InclusiveSchool) and/or on Facebook www.facebook.com/RichmondInclusiveSchools. More on what we've picked up about the offers details is given below.
Getting candidates' views in advance of May Council elections: Activity is building in advance of the May Council elections. Please ask your local candidates whether they would support this statement: “I think it would benefit the local community if state-funded church schools made more of their places open to all local children, regardless of their parents’ religious practice. If elected, I will do what I can to encourage them to move in that direction.” Do let us know the outcome so that we can build and share the picture. So far candidates who have indicated their support include a number of LibDems and one UKIP. Click here for the only reply we've seen so far from the Conservative side. Unfortunately, it does not answer the question about increasing inclusive admissions. It's almost certain that many Conservative candidates privately agree with us. Others clearly don't, and have every right to take that view. But the electorate should at least know who thinks what.
More info on secondary offers: click here for a (rather low resolution) image we’ve obtained of the Council's overall picture of secondary offers. It looks like:
- St.Richard Reynolds is now the only secondary school in the borough where 100% of the places were offered on the basis of religious criteria, though we've heard that this includes a few non-Catholic Christians.
- Christ’s School, which gives faith-based priority to half its 150 places (“Foundation” places) was fully subscribed overall, but in fact the “Foundation” places were under-subscribed, providing more open places.
- The schools that were under-subscribed, and had a share of the 110 children who had received no offers from their preferred schools allocated to them by the Council, were the three original academies – Hampton, Richmond Park and Twickenham. But it looks like Richmond Park was a lot more heavily subscribed than previously.
Turing House, the new secondary school due to open in September, has not yet announced its site. It took applications in addition to those going through the Council system, and was over-subscribed. Once the site details are confirmed, Parents will need to choose whether to take an offer from the Council’s scheme or from Turing House.
Primary schools: Faith-based discrimination is an even bigger issue at primary level in the borough. In case you missed it, click here for the exchange of correspondence in the local press about the refusal of St.Mary’s & St.Peter’s CofE Primary in Teddington to relax their very discriminatory admissions policy. The only defence so far seems to be a personal attack.
We've received this interesting and encouraging input via our website from Rev Dominic Stockford, Pastor of Christ Church in Teddington, who says "I firmly believe that if a 'church' school takes state funding then it should have no admission policy which prevents anyone from attending" and gives some interesting history about Collis School.
Fair Admissions campaigners in Hammersmith & Fulham have stimulated a column in the Spectator by Toby Young headed "Sorry campaigning mums - it's faith that makes faith schools work. Why I can't support Shepherd's Bush fair admissions campaign". It's attracting a lot of comments.
Make sure you support the national Fair Admissions Campaign