New Peterborough Catholic school tells parents all local children are expected to get a place

The team behind the new St John Henry Newman Catholic Primary School in Peterborough has told residents that any local child wanting a place is expected to get one.

By Joel Lamy
Monday, 1st February 2021, 5:10 am

The Shadow Governing Body for the new school in Hampton Water has also set out the timetable for school applications and reiterated that the school will be following the National Curriculum.

It is also seeking to reassure residents that traffic is not expected to be any more than for any other primary school and that drop-off parking will be provided.

The statement comes after residents living in the new development voiced their anger at the school’s admission criteria which means that if it is oversubscribed it is allowed to select 80 per cent of its cohort based on faith rather than location.

An architect’s impression of the new school. Photo: DLA Architecture

Aside from the fear that children will miss out on a place at their local school, it has prompted concerns of rising traffic on the A15 due to parents from afar driving their children to the school.

The primary is set to open in September 2022 and building work is expected to start on site this summer, with a planning applications due to be submitted shortly.

More details about the application can be found at: https://dppukltd.com/st-johnhenrynewman/.

The new maintained voluntary aided school run by the Diocese of East Anglia school will be the first state-funded Catholic school in England for more than 10 years.

It is being 90 per cent funded by the Government and is planned to open initially for 90 pupils before eventually reaching 630.

It will also have a 30 place nursery.

Providing details on schools places, the shadow governors said: “We know that this is the biggest concern for parents, especially those living close to the new school. Even though this is a Catholic school we still expect that every child who wants a place at the school, where St John Henry Newman School is their closest school, will be able to get a place.

“The admissions process for this school will follow the same timetable as for all primary schools and you can find more information about this on Peterborough City Council’s website.”

Addressing concerns over traffic levels, the shadow governors added: “We don’t think this school will cause any more traffic than any other primary school of this size. We don’t believe that lots of pupils will be driven to school from a very long way partly because distance from the school will be a factor in deciding who gets a place in the school.”

On the issue of the curriculum, they continued: “Religious Education is an important part of the curriculum in catholic schools but only accounts for around 10 per cent of the timetable.”

An updated list of full answers to FAQs can be found on the school website at: https://st-johnhenrynewman.org.uk/.