Please give us your views

Proposed Catholic Primary School for Hampton East, Peterborough – consultation document


Background

The Catholic Diocese of East Anglia covers the counties of Norfolk, Cambridgeshire and Suffolk. It supports 27 schools, of which three are in Peterborough. We want to increase the number of Catholic schools in areas of the Diocese where pupil numbers are growing. This will ease general pupil number pressures and strengthen the diversity of school provision so that families can consider a wider range of schools for their children.

We are asking for your views on the possibility of a new Catholic primary school to open on the Hampton East development in Peterborough in September 2022. Once open, this school would be the fifth primary-phase school on the wider Hampton Urban Extension and the first faith school.

The Diocese has secured funding from the Government to build the new school on a site already identified in the Hampton East development. The school will be voluntary aided, which means it is state-funded and locally managed by governors, with the Diocese acting as overall Trustee of its faith character. To open a new voluntary aided school, we need to follow processes set out in law which include getting the approval of Peterborough City Council. Before we can make a formal proposal to the City Council to open the new school, we need to understand how local people feel about the proposal generally. That is why we are asking for your views now.

This document sets out the basic elements of our proposal and why we think the school will provide an excellent education for all its learners. This information can also be found on the Diocese’s website at www.rcdea.org.uk/vaschools, where you will also find answers to some frequently asked questions.

We would very much like to hear your thoughts on this proposal and there are several ways of doing this, which are set out at the end of this document. You can also join us at some consultation drop-in sessions which are being held on:

Wednesday, 18th September at 7pm at St Thomas More Primary School, Peterborough
Tuesday, 1st October at 3.30pm at Sacred Heart Primary School, Peterborough
Monday, 7th October at 7pm at Hampton Vale Community Centre, Peterborough

We look forward to hearing your views, which must be received by Sunday, 20th October 2019.

Why is another new school needed?

Peterborough City Council’s Local Plan to 2036 (July 2019) identifies both Peterborough itself and Hampton East in particular, as areas of continuing housing growth. In the City Council’s most recent housing report in 2019, there were 18,060 outstanding housing allocations or approved planning permissions across Peterborough, just under half of which are within 2½ miles from the new school site. This report also states that there have been 1,379 completed new dwellings from 2009 to 2018 in the Hampton area and 3,179 with planning permission but are yet to be built. When built, these dwellings alone could generate around 1,113 new primary pupils.

The City Council’s School Organisation Plan 2018/19 identifies the need for another new primary school in Hampton East (referred to as Hampton Waters). It is this need which we are seeking to fulfil.

In addition, the Diocese of East Anglia has also identified a need for more Catholic school places in Peterborough. It has records of 347 baptisms of children due to start school between 2021-23 in the south of Peterborough. There is a notable need within the parish of St Luke’s, of which the Hampton development is part.

We believe a new Catholic primary school will enhance choice and diversity of education provision within this area of Peterborough, especially for families within the Hampton development itself. The nearest Catholic school, Sacred Heart Primary, is 5 miles away from the proposed school’s site and is full in all year groups.

How will the new school be run?

The new Catholic primary school in Hampton East would have 90 places in each year group when full. This provides 630 places overall for primary age pupils (Reception Year to Year 6). The school would also have the equivalent of 30 full-time places in a nursery class that will be open during the school day. It is intended that breakfast, after-school and holiday clubs will also be run at the school. It is unlikely that all these places will be needed straightaway so places will first be offered in the nursery and younger year groups and the school will then grow by one further 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.

Like all voluntary aided schools, the new school will be locally managed by the Governing Body, composed of parent and staff governors, as well as foundation governors appointed by the Diocese. The Governing Body will have experience of strategic planning, a clear focus on school improvement and a strong vision for Catholic education for children of all faiths and none.

Voluntary aided schools are state-funded through the local authority’s school financing arrangements. The Governing Body would be the employer of staff and would also decide on the school’s admissions policy.

The school’s Catholic ethos will be articulated first and foremost in everyday practice but will also be underpinned by faith-based admissions criteria. Whenever there are more applications than places available, priority would be given to Catholic children. However, if there are places available once Catholic applicants have been offered a place, a child would not be refused a place because they are not Catholic. 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 and faiths and we expect this school to be very similar.

We believe that most of the children within the school will live locally and be able to walk to school. The City Council’s Home to School transport policy would apply to children admitted from further afield.

Offering the best to every pupil

The new school will build on the best of the long tradition of excellent education across all Diocesan Catholic schools, focussing on the needs of the individual child and service to the local and wider community. The new school will offer the full range of learning opportunities and challenge in accordance with the National Curriculum and Ofsted requirements. It will be a clear ambition that the new school achieves a Good or Outstanding OFSTED rating at its first inspection. Nationally, and in Cambridgeshire, Catholic schools perform well.

The school will be supported by the extensive and proven experience of current senior leaders in Catholic schools. The strengths of the new school would be used in support of other schools and we would hope to work collaboratively with other schools in the Hampton community to achieve excellent outcomes for every child who lives there.

Pupils’ spiritual, moral, social, and cultural development will be at the heart of the school’s work, ensuring that pupils are well-prepared for their future lives in modern Britain.

The school will meet the needs of children with special educational needs and disabilities through a range of strategies which put the needs of the child first. There will be a clear line of communication between parents/carers and staff, enabling issues about a child’s development to be identified promptly and actions to meet these needs put in place.

There will be strong liaison between nursery leaders and school staff, and engagement with local high schools to ensure smooth transition to secondary education. Parents of year 6 children will be able to express a preference for secondary education at either of the two secondary schools within the Hampton Urban Extension, at St John Fisher Catholic High School or indeed at any other secondary school.

Safeguarding of children will be an absolute priority, with local policies and strategies backed up with wider support where required.

A school engaging with its community

The Catholic Church and Catholic schools have strong track records of engagement with their communities – locally, nationally and internationally. We know that this engagement helps pupils develop good social and learning skills and helps them develop a sense of social responsibility as they grow into adulthood.

The school will work hard to support the developing community it will be serving in Hampton East. It will tailor its community engagement and support to the
opportunities and needs within the community. There are many possible examples – including environmental engagement, the arts, healthy living and charitable work. It will seek to work with other local schools so that its community engagement is fully complementary with and supportive of their own work. We hope this will be part of strong overall liaison between all the schools across the wider Hampton development.
Through this community engagement as well as through the strong Catholic commitment to ethnic, racial and cultural diversity, the school will seek to be an active player in fostering good community cohesion locally. The school’s facilities will be made available to the local community outside of school hours and during school holidays. We hope that members of the local community will play an active role in supporting the new school, including becoming school governors.

All this is underpinned by our vision for all our schools to be centres of educational excellence rooted in Catholic values. The Catholic ethos will permeate all areas of the curriculum in the new school and underpin the school’s work and objectives. The new school will work with the wider Catholic school family in Peterborough and across the Diocese to provide mutual support, challenge and opportunity.

Here is our timetable

Consultation opens: Monday, 9th September 2019
Consultation closes: Sunday, 20th October 2019
Publication of formal statutory notice: Thursday, 21st November 2019
Closure of notice period: Thursday, 19th December 2019
Decision on the proposal: expected by end of February 2020
Opening of new school, if approved: expected 1st September 2022

What Happens Next

You can attend the consultation drop-in sessions which are being held on:

Wednesday, 18th September at 7pm at St Thomas More Primary School, Peterborough
Tuesday, 1st October at 3.30pm at Sacred Heart Primary School, Peterborough
Monday, 7th October at 7pm at Hampton Vale Community Centre, Peterborough

The sessions at St Thomas More and Sacred Heart will also provide an opportunity for you to have a look around and talk to school staff at our current primary schools in Peterborough.

Please complete our online survey here or print out a PDF version here.
You can hand in a printed survey at the consultation sessions, email it to: ssc@rcdea.org.uk or post it to: Diocesan Schools’ Office, 21 Upgate, Poringland, Norwich, NR14 7SH

We need all responses by Sunday, 20th October 2019

Click here for a printed version of our consultation leaflet

Click here for a printed version of the consultation leaflet in Polish

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