Proposed new Peterborough faith school attracts objections

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There have been calls to scrap plans for a new faith school in Peterborough.

The new Catholic primary school is proposed for Hampton, after the Government approved the application this summer.

A series of consultation events are taking place across Peterborough over the next few weeks – but there have been a number of objections to the plans.

The No More Faith Schools campaign coordinator Alastair Lichten said: “The plan to open a new selective faith school in Peterborough will exacerbate social division and undermine pupils’ and teachers’ freedom of religion and belief. We urge supporters of inclusive education to do what they can to resist it.

“A new school is required in Peterborough, but it should serve all its residents fairly. Where new schools are required they should be inclusive of all children, regardless of their religious background, and enable children to make their own minds up about religion.”

The Hampton Academies Trust, which runs a number of primary and secondary schools in the township, have also voiced their objections.

The trust said they believed the school would not meet the demand in the area. They said: “A faith school is allowed to admit a high proportion of its pupils on the basis of their religion, which would mean they would able to admit large numbers of pupils from outside of the development. This would mean that the school would not deliver sufficient school places to meet the growing local demand.”

The Diocese of East Anglia would run the school, and Helen Bates, the diocese’s assistant director for schools, said: “We expect that this school, like most schools in the diocese, will have a wide mix of children of all faiths.

“On average, about a third of pupils in our schools are not Catholic.”

It is expected that when the new school – if approved – is full it could have up to 90 places in each year group. It is also expected to have a nursery. No date has yet been set for when the school could open.

The first consultation event took place last night (Wednesday) and two more are planned in Peterborough.

The first will take place at Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School on Tuesday, October 1, at 3.30pm. The second will be held at Hampton Vale Community Centre on Monday, October 7, at 7pm.

Residents can also take part in the consultation, and find more information by visiting www.rcdea.org.uk/vaschools/