Church of England School would exclude children in need of places

I m becoming increasingly frustrated at the way that choice and need are being used interchangeably in the debate around Camden s new secondary school. Clearly, there are many different perceptions of the word need . Let s be clear, our campaign fo

I'm becoming increasingly frustrated at the way that 'choice' and 'need' are being used interchangeably in the debate around Camden's new secondary school. Clearly, there are many different perceptions of the word 'need'.

Let's be clear, our campaign for a new secondary school in the south of the borough is about chronic and long-standing under provision, and the unmet need of the most disadvantaged children in Camden. The Church of England school campaign is about choice.

If the CofE runs the new Camden school, parent campaigners won't be in charge. They can hope for an open community admissions policy from the church, but the best the church has offered so far is 50 per cent community admissions, reserving 50 per cent of the places for Christians, regardless of which borough they live in. Even if the school does get built in Adelaide Road, it is possible that children living in the north west of the borough would still not be able to get in to it - and we are told that the whole point of building a new school in Camden is to provide additional places for children who can't currently access them.

What we all need is an inclusive, ambitious, well-funded school with a moral and spiritual ethos - and we can have all that and more in a community school run by Camden. Don't give your parent power away to the Church. You may find that when it comes to admissions, your children are not 'Christian' enough to matter.


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Polly Shields

www.whereismyschool.org.uk

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Millman Street, WC1

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