New Catholic primary school for Hamptons East – FAQs
Since the Government made its announcement on June 14 approving, in principle, the opening of a new Catholic primary school in Peterborough, we are aware that many people will have questions about this and what happens next. The FAQs below try to address the main issues.
Will there definitely be a Catholic primary school in Hamptons East?
The Government has given its approval to provide funding to build a new Catholic school at Hampton Waters. However, the final decision about establishing the new school will be made by Peterborough City Council as the local education authority.
In late November the Diocese of East Anglia will make a formal proposal to the City Council to open a new Catholic school. Before that we will undertake a consultation with the local community. We will start this consultation period in early September and hope to have a final decision from the City Council in the New Year.
Further information about the consultation will be published nearer the time on our website at https://www.rcdea.org.uk/vaschools/ This is also where all updates about the new school will be published.
Will this school meet local demand?
We believe it will. Contrary to some views, Catholic schools serve their local community. Pupils at our schools do not live a long way from their school. Quite rightly, parents do not want their children, especially primary-aged children, to travel great distances to get to school. There will be Catholic and non-Catholic families who live in the community who choose to send their children to a faith-based school. This will give local parents another option when applying for a school place.
Will you turn children away from this school on religious grounds?
Admissions to Catholic schools must follow the law as set out in the “Admissions Code of Practice”. This allows Catholic schools to give priority for admissions to baptized Catholic children if there are more applications than places available. However, if there are places available once Catholic children have been offered a place, a child cannot be refused a place because they are not Catholic, and places cannot be reserved in anticipation of future Catholic children. In fact, most schools in our Diocese have a wide mix of pupils from different backgrounds, all faiths and none. In some of them, Catholics are in the minority. A copy of the model admissions policy for our primary schools will be published on our website.
How will a Catholic school promote community cohesion?
The school will foster a strong sense of community from the outset by making strong links with other local schools through educational project work and sharing of best practice. There is a strong Catholic commitment to serving local communities and promoting community cohesion through values that respect the right and dignity of every individual. The new school will connect with the local community by, for example, fund-raising for local causes, offering the use of school facilities to community groups outside school hours and developing an active parent/teacher association with strong community links.
What will the curriculum be like at the new school?
Catholic schools follow the National Curriculum like all other schools. Religious education is a valued part of the curriculum, but a broad and balanced approach is taken. The core teaching in RE is Christianity with elements each year on other World Religions. In all areas of the curriculum the focus is to build confident, balanced and informed young people. This is key in building a cohesive society and supporting pupils to flourish spiritually, morally, academically and socially.
When will the new school open?
We are working on the basis that the new school will open in September 2022.
How many places will be available when the school opens?
We need to work closely with Peterborough City Council to make sure that there are enough places when the school opens to meet local demand, but not so many that it could take children from other schools. When completely full, this school will have 90 places in each year group, ie three classes for each year group. It will also have a nursery class. However, it is unlikely that all these places will be needed straightaway. It is likely that places will first be offered in the nursery and younger year groups and the school will then grow one year group at a time. However, final decisions will be made closer to the time of opening and will depend on the number of children needing a school place at that time.
How can I get my child a place at the school?
If you are interested in your child going to this school, please sign up to our register of interest when the consultation starts in September 2019. This does not guarantee you a place at this stage, or tie you to taking up a place, but it is important in demonstrating to Peterborough City Council that people support the opening of this school and would like to send their children there.
The FAQs above try to address the main issues. However, if there are others, please feel free to contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org