Campaign group launches petition against Catholic secondary school in Richmond

Richmond and Twickenham Times: Petition: Jeremy Rodell of the Richmond Inclusive Schools Campaign Petition: Jeremy Rodell of the Richmond Inclusive Schools Campaign

A campaign group opposed to the council’s plans for the Catholic Church to run a new secondary school has launched a petition.

The Richmond Inclusive Schools Campaign argued that no child should be denied a place because of their parents’ religion or beliefs.

It comes after more than 1,100 people signed a petition earlier this year, calling for Richmond Council to hand control of a new secondary school to the Catholic Church.

The authority then announced last month it would buy a site in Clifden Road, Twickenham, and hoped the church would be able to move in by 2013.

Jeremy Rodell, campaign co-ordinator for the Richmond Inclusive Schools Campaign, urged anyone worried about the policy to sign its e-petition. More than 200 people put their name to it within two days and the council will need to hold a full debate - which would be its second about the issue - if the number reaches 1,000.

Mr Rodell said: “We’ve seen a big increase in support since the council announced they had found the site but were going to give it to the church.

“The council knows the borough needs new secondaries to cope with the huge rise in the number of children now going through the primaries. But their first choice is a school that will be effectively closed to the 90 per cent of borough’s residents who are not Catholics.

“We want to see excellent new borough schools that are equally open to everyone, including children of Catholics.”

The group, which was launched in April, claimed it was not political or anti-religion and had supporters including Catholics, Anglicans, Jews and humanists.

To sign the petition, visit http://tinyurl.com/riscpetition1.

Have you signed the petition? Leave a comment below

Comments (58)

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2:38pm Sat 6 Aug 11

ChrisSquire says...

The Council has NOT decided to give the site to the Catholic Church; it has decided to buy the site. The cabinet report of July 21 makes this clear:

‘ . . It must be stressed however that this Council level support does not represent a decision to provide this type of school at the Clifden site. That would be a separate decision from that which is before the Cabinet in this report . . ’

The decision as to what kind of school we get will be made after an open competition which will allow the pros and cons to be thoroughly aired.

The mini-debate on this petition will be a good start to this process
The Council has NOT decided to give the site to the Catholic Church; it has decided to buy the site. The cabinet report of July 21 makes this clear: ‘ . . It must be stressed however that this Council level support does not represent a decision to provide this type of school at the Clifden site. That would be a separate decision from that which is before the Cabinet in this report . . ’ The decision as to what kind of school we get will be made after an open competition which will allow the pros and cons to be thoroughly aired. The mini-debate on this petition will be a good start to this process ChrisSquire
  • Score: 0

6:18pm Sat 6 Aug 11

JHRobinson says...

ChrisSquire is right when he says the only decision taken on 21 July was to buy the site.

However, this decision was followed by a discussion where cabinet members agreed that next steps would include offering the site to local Catholic Diocesan bodies, enabling them to approach Michael Gove for permission to open a Catholic school on the site. Councillors were clear that this approach would have their full support.

It was clear at the meeting that the Council's priority is a Catholic school.

I know this because I was there.
ChrisSquire is right when he says the only decision taken on 21 July was to buy the site. However, this decision was followed by a discussion where cabinet members agreed that next steps would include offering the site to local Catholic Diocesan bodies, enabling them to approach Michael Gove for permission to open a Catholic school on the site. Councillors were clear that this approach would have their full support. It was clear at the meeting that the Council's priority is a Catholic school. I know this because I was there. JHRobinson
  • Score: 0

6:31pm Sat 6 Aug 11

JeremyRodell says...

I'm afraid Chris Squire is wrong if he thinks that the Council intends to follow the normal process of holding an open competition. Lord True stated at the Cabinet meeting that the Catholic church would seek consent from the Secretary of State for Education to publish proposals for a Voluntary Aided school. Under the regulations, a competition is not required if that happens, or if the new school is to be an Academy. (I was there too. Lord True made this point in response to a specific issue raised in the statement made by James Heather at the start of the meeting.)
I'm afraid Chris Squire is wrong if he thinks that the Council intends to follow the normal process of holding an open competition. Lord True stated at the Cabinet meeting that the Catholic church would seek consent from the Secretary of State for Education to publish proposals for a Voluntary Aided school. Under the regulations, a competition is not required if that happens, or if the new school is to be an Academy. (I was there too. Lord True made this point in response to a specific issue raised in the statement made by James Heather at the start of the meeting.) JeremyRodell
  • Score: 0

6:55pm Sat 6 Aug 11

ChrisSquire says...

Thank you for the clarification; I was not at the meeting; here is a summary of the law:

‘ . . Creating a new school: the rules

‘ . . 1.9 Where Councils have identified a requirement for a new school the Department for Education (DfE) introduced procedures for creating a new school established under The Education and Inspections Act 2006 (EIA2006) and The School Organisation (Establishment and Discontinuance of Schools)(England) Regulations 2007 (as amended by The School Organisation and Governance (Amendments) (England) Regulations 2007 which came into force on 21 January 2008 . . where the Council wishes to see a new school established they must either:

• Invite proposals for the school as provided for in Section 7 of the EIA 2006 Regulation 2007. This process is generally referred to as a “competition” and is expected to be the route by which most new schools will be established.

or • Apply to the Secretary of State for consent to publish proposals for a new school without running a competition. This is consent to publish proposals only and is not permission to establish a new school. Therefore, where consent is granted to publish proposals, it is not permission to establish a new school. The normal statutory process would still apply i.e. Consultation; Publication; Representations; Decision (by LA or schools adjudicator).

or • Work with the Secretary of State and sponsors to establish an Academy; . . ‘

• Source: Barking Council report, 21/12/10.

Time for Vince Cable to have a word with the Secretary of State, I think.
Thank you for the clarification; I was not at the meeting; here is a summary of the law: ‘ . . Creating a new school: the rules ‘ . . 1.9 Where Councils have identified a requirement for a new school the Department for Education (DfE) introduced procedures for creating a new school established under The Education and Inspections Act 2006 (EIA2006) and The School Organisation (Establishment and Discontinuance of Schools)(England) Regulations 2007 (as amended by The School Organisation and Governance (Amendments) (England) Regulations 2007 which came into force on 21 January 2008 . . where the Council wishes to see a new school established they must either: • Invite proposals for the school as provided for in Section 7 of the EIA 2006 Regulation 2007. This process is generally referred to as a “competition” and is expected to be the route by which most new schools will be established. or • Apply to the Secretary of State for consent to publish proposals for a new school without running a competition. This is consent to publish proposals only and is not permission to establish a new school. Therefore, where consent is granted to publish proposals, it is not permission to establish a new school. The normal statutory process would still apply i.e. Consultation; Publication; Representations; Decision (by LA or schools adjudicator). or • Work with the Secretary of State and sponsors to establish an Academy; . . ‘ • Source: Barking Council report, 21/12/10. Time for Vince Cable to have a word with the Secretary of State, I think. ChrisSquire
  • Score: 0

2:01am Sun 7 Aug 11

James Heather says...

Mr. Taylor,

I am sure the many religious people who support the Richmond Inclusive Schools Campaign would disagree with you. However, you are entitled to your own opinion on the matter.

That said, while the RISC, the catholic school supporters and the LBRUT Cabinet are not all in agreement here, we have all shown each other the appropriate respect. Your post clearly shows a lack of respect for the campaign, for Mr Rodell and for humanism. I personally find your comments about anarchy and chaos followed directly by a call for Mr Rodell (a man you know to be a humanist) to attend a church offensive and bigoted. Such comments have no place on this site or anywhere else.
Mr. Taylor, I am sure the many religious people who support the Richmond Inclusive Schools Campaign would disagree with you. However, you are entitled to your own opinion on the matter. That said, while the RISC, the catholic school supporters and the LBRUT Cabinet are not all in agreement here, we have all shown each other the appropriate respect. Your post clearly shows a lack of respect for the campaign, for Mr Rodell and for humanism. I personally find your comments about anarchy and chaos followed directly by a call for Mr Rodell (a man you know to be a humanist) to attend a church offensive and bigoted. Such comments have no place on this site or anywhere else. James Heather
  • Score: 0

10:08am Sun 7 Aug 11

PhillipTaylor says...

Mr Heather, you are the one who is wrong. I personally find your comments offensive and your final comment just shows that you have no understanding of freedom of speech. I am as entitled to point out that Mr Rodell is conning people with this attack on the religious community as you are in your dubious defence. I do not see why there is a 'lcak of respect' as you call it because I am not fooled by your activities.

Phillip Taylor
Mr Heather, you are the one who is wrong. I personally find your comments offensive and your final comment just shows that you have no understanding of freedom of speech. I am as entitled to point out that Mr Rodell is conning people with this attack on the religious community as you are in your dubious defence. I do not see why there is a 'lcak of respect' as you call it because I am not fooled by your activities. Phillip Taylor PhillipTaylor
  • Score: 0

11:27am Sun 7 Aug 11

JeremyRodell says...

People can draw their own conclusions about Philip Taylor's comments. The campaign has been careful to respect the sincerely-held views of those we disagree with, and in general that has been reciprocated.

The Richmond Inclusive Schools Campaign consists of people of all sorts of beliefs, ranging from humanists like me, and other non-religious people, to Anglicans and Catholics. There is no "con".

Our petition is not anti-religious in any way. It is simply asking the Council to ensure that all new borough schools treat children equitably, irrespective of their parents' beliefs. Over 500 people have signed it in just 4 days.
People can draw their own conclusions about Philip Taylor's comments. The campaign has been careful to respect the sincerely-held views of those we disagree with, and in general that has been reciprocated. The Richmond Inclusive Schools Campaign consists of people of all sorts of beliefs, ranging from humanists like me, and other non-religious people, to Anglicans and Catholics. There is no "con". Our petition is not anti-religious in any way. It is simply asking the Council to ensure that all new borough schools treat children equitably, irrespective of their parents' beliefs. Over 500 people have signed it in just 4 days. JeremyRodell
  • Score: 0

11:55am Sun 7 Aug 11

ltlwing says...

Phillip Taylor... my karma ran over your dogma, mate - about 1700 years too late, tho...
Phillip Taylor... my karma ran over your dogma, mate - about 1700 years too late, tho... ltlwing
  • Score: 0

12:03pm Sun 7 Aug 11

PhillipTaylor says...

Thank you, Mr Rodell, for your self-serving explanation which sets out your manifesto.

What you say, then, has clearly been misunderstood by a large number of people who have seen your campaign as an attack on the freedoms we enjoy here- to worship and to attend a school of choice based on religious belief.

If you say that the petition is not anti-religious in any way, I accept that personally, and I am glad for your explanation although I feel you have deeper motives than you wish to disclose openly and they are aimed at the eventual destruction of religious belief based on the views you express here because that is what your policy will lead to... and surely you see that!

However, I assume you do also recognize that parents see a Catholic School as maintaining firmer discipline which is the reason so many said they wanted one here when we campaigned last year in the elections: it was a big doorstep issue?

To my understanding, it has been government policy for a very long time ("Every Child Matters") that children should be treated equally with their welfare being of paramount importance, but you are disingenuous to suggest that it must be 'irrespective of their parents' beliefs'. No!

I find that statement particularly disappointing and destructive as children form their views based on parental models which involve discipline- it is simply not right to suggest that children can form views on ethics, morality and our social and legal codes without proper guidance.

The word 'irrespective' which you use appears wrong because young people need training as they grow up. If children, when they become adults, wish to reject religion or a particular creed it is a matter for the individual- and that is well exercised today.

In my view, minds are not fully formed whilst they are young: schoolyard bullying becomes mob-rule/gang war if it is not dealt with and just look at what is happening to London at the moment for an example of the lack of discipline which is being exhibited.

I still believe that we are a Christian country and there is nothing wrong with C of E or Catholic Schools. You are misguided to suggest otherwise which is the logical conclusion to your campaign which will lead to a complete break between religion and education policy for most people. I do not want to see that happen here.

Phillip Taylor
Thank you, Mr Rodell, for your self-serving explanation which sets out your manifesto. What you say, then, has clearly been misunderstood by a large number of people who have seen your campaign as an attack on the freedoms we enjoy here- to worship and to attend a school of choice based on religious belief. If you say that the petition is not anti-religious in any way, I accept that personally, and I am glad for your explanation although I feel you have deeper motives than you wish to disclose openly and they are aimed at the eventual destruction of religious belief based on the views you express here because that is what your policy will lead to... and surely you see that! However, I assume you do also recognize that parents see a Catholic School as maintaining firmer discipline which is the reason so many said they wanted one here when we campaigned last year in the elections: it was a big doorstep issue? To my understanding, it has been government policy for a very long time ("Every Child Matters") that children should be treated equally with their welfare being of paramount importance, but you are disingenuous to suggest that it must be 'irrespective of their parents' beliefs'. No! I find that statement particularly disappointing and destructive as children form their views based on parental models which involve discipline- it is simply not right to suggest that children can form views on ethics, morality and our social and legal codes without proper guidance. The word 'irrespective' which you use appears wrong because young people need training as they grow up. If children, when they become adults, wish to reject religion or a particular creed it is a matter for the individual- and that is well exercised today. In my view, minds are not fully formed whilst they are young: schoolyard bullying becomes mob-rule/gang war if it is not dealt with and just look at what is happening to London at the moment for an example of the lack of discipline which is being exhibited. I still believe that we are a Christian country and there is nothing wrong with C of E or Catholic Schools. You are misguided to suggest otherwise which is the logical conclusion to your campaign which will lead to a complete break between religion and education policy for most people. I do not want to see that happen here. Phillip Taylor PhillipTaylor
  • Score: 0

12:09pm Sun 7 Aug 11

PhillipTaylor says...

Nonsense, Itlwing.

Go smoke some more dope.

It has nothing to do with phoney "karma" as you put it in your latter day hippy vocabulary. This is about a real issue which affects many people who have to use the state sector for schooling. You are having the wool pulled over your karma!

Phillip Taylor
Nonsense, Itlwing. Go smoke some more dope. It has nothing to do with phoney "karma" as you put it in your latter day hippy vocabulary. This is about a real issue which affects many people who have to use the state sector for schooling. You are having the wool pulled over your karma! Phillip Taylor PhillipTaylor
  • Score: 0

2:49pm Sun 7 Aug 11

JeremyRodell says...

...and don't forget to sign-up to Richmond Inclusive Schools Campaign if you want to be key updated: www.richmondinclusiv
eschools.org.uk

Sign the petition at http://tinyurl.com/r
iscpetition1
...and don't forget to sign-up to Richmond Inclusive Schools Campaign if you want to be key updated: www.richmondinclusiv eschools.org.uk Sign the petition at http://tinyurl.com/r iscpetition1 JeremyRodell
  • Score: 0

3:08pm Sun 7 Aug 11

TrevorC says...

Sorry Mr Taylor, I was trying to offer a light hearted way out for the incredible slurs against RISC and Jeremy Rodell. It seemed out of character for a barrister and ex councillor that normally writes sensibly, albeit with a political bias.

Now I see you are serious and lashing out even more wildly, which detracts from the defence put forward for the creation of a voluntary aided (90% state funded) Catholic secondary school in Twickenham.

If I thought that the Richmond Inclusive Schools Campaign was serving a Humanist agenda, I wouldn't support that. Yet there is no evidence to suggest that it is supporting nothing more than all inclusive education, for all faiths and no faith.

Ideally every school should teach about all faiths and the Humanist view, rather than preaching one over another. That is the path to better understanding and integration.

Where I do sympathise with the Catholic view, is that there is an inconsistency in all inclusive schools with moral values, discipline, and educational and behaviour standards. (Excluding the disproportionality with the intake of those with special needs). Yet it should not require being tied to a particular religion to provide the solution which can satisfy all.
Sorry Mr Taylor, I was trying to offer a light hearted way out for the incredible slurs against RISC and Jeremy Rodell. It seemed out of character for a barrister and ex councillor that normally writes sensibly, albeit with a political bias. Now I see you are serious and lashing out even more wildly, which detracts from the defence put forward for the creation of a voluntary aided (90% state funded) Catholic secondary school in Twickenham. If I thought that the Richmond Inclusive Schools Campaign was serving a Humanist agenda, I wouldn't support that. Yet there is no evidence to suggest that it is supporting nothing more than all inclusive education, for all faiths and no faith. Ideally every school should teach about all faiths and the Humanist view, rather than preaching one over another. That is the path to better understanding and integration. Where I do sympathise with the Catholic view, is that there is an inconsistency in all inclusive schools with moral values, discipline, and educational and behaviour standards. (Excluding the disproportionality with the intake of those with special needs). Yet it should not require being tied to a particular religion to provide the solution which can satisfy all. TrevorC
  • Score: 0

7:21pm Sun 7 Aug 11

Gareth Roberts says...

I think any resident of Heathfield reading this exchange will breathe a sigh of relief when they realise just how close they came to getting Mr Taylor as one of their elected representatives - three votes the other way and Alan Butler wouldn't have been elected and instead they'd be left to the tender mercies of Mr Taylor.

I should imagine, however, that given the rather unpleasant and, at times, downright nasty responses coming from Mr Taylor in this thread that the Conservatives will perhaps think twice about offering him a candidacy in the future.

Out of interest, I wonder if Mr Taylor could offer clarification as to whether he is indeed sojourning in the Antipodes or North Africa (and thus explain the lateness of the hour of his posting) or if he wrote his earlier post from the comfort of his Richmond home?
I think any resident of Heathfield reading this exchange will breathe a sigh of relief when they realise just how close they came to getting Mr Taylor as one of their elected representatives - three votes the other way and Alan Butler wouldn't have been elected and instead they'd be left to the tender mercies of Mr Taylor. I should imagine, however, that given the rather unpleasant and, at times, downright nasty responses coming from Mr Taylor in this thread that the Conservatives will perhaps think twice about offering him a candidacy in the future. Out of interest, I wonder if Mr Taylor could offer clarification as to whether he is indeed sojourning in the Antipodes or North Africa (and thus explain the lateness of the hour of his posting) or if he wrote his earlier post from the comfort of his Richmond home? Gareth Roberts
  • Score: 0

8:18pm Sun 7 Aug 11

lucullus says...

The basic premise of the campaign is quite simple: Richmond desperately needs secondary school places to be planned, and the inherent nature of a faith school is that it will prefer pupils from its faith, whether inside or outside the borough.

This means that children from non-Catholic families - and such children comprise the overwhelming majority in our borough - will be second choice in their own borough, even if they live next door to the school, and the raw numbers (children needing secondary places, Catholic children in the borough, Catholic children living nearby) are pretty clearly suggesting that Richmond could very well spend a lot of money on a school which may struggle even to attract a majority of children from the borough.

Talking about inclusive schools is, very simply, about providing equal opportunity to all in our borough, irrespective of their religious beliefs, and treating them all equally. Building a Catholic secondary is a massive choice for Catholics to the detriment of everyone else in the borough.
The basic premise of the campaign is quite simple: Richmond desperately needs secondary school places to be planned, and the inherent nature of a faith school is that it will prefer pupils from its faith, whether inside or outside the borough. This means that children from non-Catholic families - and such children comprise the overwhelming majority in our borough - will be second choice in their own borough, even if they live next door to the school, and the raw numbers (children needing secondary places, Catholic children in the borough, Catholic children living nearby) are pretty clearly suggesting that Richmond could very well spend a lot of money on a school which may struggle even to attract a majority of children from the borough. Talking about inclusive schools is, very simply, about providing equal opportunity to all in our borough, irrespective of their religious beliefs, and treating them all equally. Building a Catholic secondary is a massive choice for Catholics to the detriment of everyone else in the borough. lucullus
  • Score: 0

8:59pm Sun 7 Aug 11

jtaranova says...

Some of the comments are really nasty. You are supposed to be nice - religious people. Is that what you are going to teach your children if you get the catholic school - being rude and offensive?

I have signed the petition! Thank you very much!
Some of the comments are really nasty. You are supposed to be nice - religious people. Is that what you are going to teach your children if you get the catholic school - being rude and offensive? I have signed the petition! Thank you very much! jtaranova
  • Score: 0

11:00pm Sun 7 Aug 11

PhillipTaylor says...

All the correspondents so far with this story have missed the point in their glee to heap attacks on me.

I do not consider my comments to be 'nasty' any more than it is 'nasty' for people to show so much prejudice against the Catholics... and I am not a Catholic anyway.

What I object to is the fake petition which has an agenda of its own which is to attack Catholic parents who want their children to be educated in a particular way here.

No-one has answered the point about discipline and I suspect that I am one of the only ones who has actually being teaching in a tough school in recent years and seen at first hand what is going on...and yes, I am also a barrister-at-law but I required teaching practice for a PGCE.

It is certainly not rude and offensive to point out the view that behind this petition is a blatant prejudice against religion being involved in any way with education.

All I am saying is that I think religion has a part to play in education and the petition people don't agree because of their motives.

Cllr Roberts' post is the nasty personal post not worthy of response, although I did see the humour in Trevor's post hence my smug response. As for Jonny Dale, he is the exclusionist but he clearly doesn't see it.

Lucullus, who hides behind an anagram, makes no sense whatsoever with his/her post which is both wet and highly confused in its thinking with the use of the word 'detriment'. I cannot see what is detrimental about a Richmond Catholic school whatsoever.

As for jtaranova- what is the point you make? Good for you for signing the petition but your comment makes no sense either as you are viewing life through rose-tinted spectacles. Of course we should be nice, but the rudeness is coming from the oppressive Humanists and those showing massive intolerance to others when it comes to religious views.

Phillip Taylor
All the correspondents so far with this story have missed the point in their glee to heap attacks on me. I do not consider my comments to be 'nasty' any more than it is 'nasty' for people to show so much prejudice against the Catholics... and I am not a Catholic anyway. What I object to is the fake petition which has an agenda of its own which is to attack Catholic parents who want their children to be educated in a particular way here. No-one has answered the point about discipline and I suspect that I am one of the only ones who has actually being teaching in a tough school in recent years and seen at first hand what is going on...and yes, I am also a barrister-at-law but I required teaching practice for a PGCE. It is certainly not rude and offensive to point out the view that behind this petition is a blatant prejudice against religion being involved in any way with education. All I am saying is that I think religion has a part to play in education and the petition people don't agree because of their motives. Cllr Roberts' post is the nasty personal post not worthy of response, although I did see the humour in Trevor's post hence my smug response. As for Jonny Dale, he is the exclusionist but he clearly doesn't see it. Lucullus, who hides behind an anagram, makes no sense whatsoever with his/her post which is both wet and highly confused in its thinking with the use of the word 'detriment'. I cannot see what is detrimental about a Richmond Catholic school whatsoever. As for jtaranova- what is the point you make? Good for you for signing the petition but your comment makes no sense either as you are viewing life through rose-tinted spectacles. Of course we should be nice, but the rudeness is coming from the oppressive Humanists and those showing massive intolerance to others when it comes to religious views. Phillip Taylor PhillipTaylor
  • Score: 0

11:50pm Sun 7 Aug 11

metis says...

It comes down to choice. That choice belongs to the parents - not the state and not the children. At present due to canon law, Catholics do not have a choice and non-Catholics do.
Lib dems often defend minorities against the 'tyrannical majority' yet here they do the opposite.
It comes down to choice. That choice belongs to the parents - not the state and not the children. At present due to canon law, Catholics do not have a choice and non-Catholics do. Lib dems often defend minorities against the 'tyrannical majority' yet here they do the opposite. metis
  • Score: 0

11:59pm Sun 7 Aug 11

jtaranova says...

Speaking of religious views, here is a question for you - why in your opinion should one religion have advantage over another (in a matter of educating children)?

Other religions have the same rights, you say so yourself.

So when is a new school coming, where I, as a 'parent, who wants my children to be educated in a particular way here' will get a place? In 30 years time?
Speaking of religious views, here is a question for you - why in your opinion should one religion have advantage over another (in a matter of educating children)? Other religions have the same rights, you say so yourself. So when is a new school coming, where I, as a 'parent, who wants my children to be educated in a particular way here' will get a place? In 30 years time? jtaranova
  • Score: 0

8:31am Mon 8 Aug 11

PhillipTaylor says...

To answer jtaranova.

I do not see this as providing what you call an 'advantage' as such. It is about the 'culture' (as some people call it) which they wish to follow. Some Catholics seem to see it in that way, too.

So then, what about Jews and Muslims for instance and their schooling? The view they put forward is that it's for their own cultural development and I don't see you attacking people who go to the Mosque for teaching for fear of the repercussions- many of my clients carry out this practice, for instance.

Under the equality legislation, we have a freedom to pursue our own religious beliefs without the threat of being stopped. Therefore, the 'advantage' that exists is that of being allowed to do what we want to do without being told by, say Humanists, that we can't.

As the Catholics make up the majority religion in this country now, I believe they should be given the right to have a specific school to send their children to. What is so wrong with that! To say otherwise is being oppressive.

Phillip Taylor
To answer jtaranova. I do not see this as providing what you call an 'advantage' as such. It is about the 'culture' (as some people call it) which they wish to follow. Some Catholics seem to see it in that way, too. So then, what about Jews and Muslims for instance and their schooling? The view they put forward is that it's for their own cultural development and I don't see you attacking people who go to the Mosque for teaching for fear of the repercussions- many of my clients carry out this practice, for instance. Under the equality legislation, we have a freedom to pursue our own religious beliefs without the threat of being stopped. Therefore, the 'advantage' that exists is that of being allowed to do what we want to do without being told by, say Humanists, that we can't. As the Catholics make up the majority religion in this country now, I believe they should be given the right to have a specific school to send their children to. What is so wrong with that! To say otherwise is being oppressive. Phillip Taylor PhillipTaylor
  • Score: 0

9:43am Mon 8 Aug 11

jtaranova says...

Yes, if we were in ideal conditions and there were enough places for every child in the borough, that would be fine to have a new school given to catholics, but as it is and many don't get even their 3rd choice it means something is wrong!

We need to achieve enough places for every child first (no matter what their religion) and then those who want to go further would be able to do so.

To say otherwise is being oppressive!
Yes, if we were in ideal conditions and there were enough places for every child in the borough, that would be fine to have a new school given to catholics, but as it is and many don't get even their 3rd choice it means something is wrong! We need to achieve enough places for every child first (no matter what their religion) and then those who want to go further would be able to do so. To say otherwise is being oppressive! jtaranova
  • Score: 0

9:51am Mon 8 Aug 11

JeremyRodell says...

Philip Taylor is perfectly entitled to his views, but here are a couple of facts:
1. No-one is arguing against freedom of religion or belief. That's a principle that I for one would strongly defend and is indeed enshrined in the Equality Act (which defines "religion and belief" as including "lack of belief").
2. Catholics do not "make up the majority religion in this country". They make up 9% according to the British Social Attitudes Survey.

The issue here is not whether anyone has the freedom to believe or practice their religion in the way that they choose (assuming their actions are within the law and without harm to other people's freedoms). The issue is whether, in a period of growing shortage of secondary school places, the Council should be giving top prioirty to a new school that will effectively be closed to 90% of the borough's children simply because their parents have the "wrong" beliefs (i.e. are not Catholics), instead of the alternative of good new schools open to everyone, including children of Catholics. Philip Taylor is entitled to think that's the right prioirty. I don't agree with him, and nor do the hundreds of people who are signing the petition at http://tinyurl.com/r
iscpetition1
Philip Taylor is perfectly entitled to his views, but here are a couple of facts: 1. No-one is arguing against freedom of religion or belief. That's a principle that I for one would strongly defend and is indeed enshrined in the Equality Act (which defines "religion and belief" as including "lack of belief"). 2. Catholics do not "make up the majority religion in this country". They make up 9% according to the British Social Attitudes Survey. The issue here is not whether anyone has the freedom to believe or practice their religion in the way that they choose (assuming their actions are within the law and without harm to other people's freedoms). The issue is whether, in a period of growing shortage of secondary school places, the Council should be giving top prioirty to a new school that will effectively be closed to 90% of the borough's children simply because their parents have the "wrong" beliefs (i.e. are not Catholics), instead of the alternative of good new schools open to everyone, including children of Catholics. Philip Taylor is entitled to think that's the right prioirty. I don't agree with him, and nor do the hundreds of people who are signing the petition at http://tinyurl.com/r iscpetition1 JeremyRodell
  • Score: 0

10:40am Mon 8 Aug 11

lucullus says...

To answer Mr. Taylor's not entirely clear question on discipline: there's no data to demonstrate better discipline (however you might quantify that) in church schools. Nor is there any data to support his assertion that 'parents believe ...', unless Mr. T. is quoting from his canvassing.

Even if it could be proven that church schools 'provide better discipline', that's not proof that parents want a church school, it's proof that parents want what they consider to be good discipline.

So it's a bit hard to understand what Mr. Taylor does want, here ...
To answer Mr. Taylor's not entirely clear question on discipline: there's no data to demonstrate better discipline (however you might quantify that) in church schools. Nor is there any data to support his assertion that 'parents believe ...', unless Mr. T. is quoting from his canvassing. Even if it could be proven that church schools 'provide better discipline', that's not proof that parents want a church school, it's proof that parents want what they consider to be good discipline. So it's a bit hard to understand what Mr. Taylor does want, here ... lucullus
  • Score: 0

1:33pm Mon 8 Aug 11

LaurenceMann says...

The main problem with Mr Taylor's arguments is that he addresses the purpose of the petition; that's to say: to ask that any school on this site is open to all local children rather than a subset based on their parent's beliefs; by asserting that this amounts to an attack on those beliefs; an assertion which is absurd.

As Mr Taylor points out, he is trained as a barrister; and I am sure that the not particularly difficult to spot absurdity in his postings is very evident to him.

Indeed, if you Google "Philip Taylor Barrister", you'll find a wonderful YouTube video of him, complete with wig, expatiating upon the niceties of advocacy. Well worth watching, if I may say so, even if you don't have a thing about wigs.

To return to the subject however, I would say that those opposed to the petition should concentrate their arguments upon justifying the position that Child A, whose parents are non-Catholics, of whatever flavour they wish, should be unable to attend this school; whilst Child B, who lives much further away, but whose parents regularly attend services at a Catholic Church, can be enrolled without any problem.

Any other argument seems to me to miss the point, and I fear that Mr Taylor is seeking to muddy the waters by raising irrelevancies.
The main problem with Mr Taylor's arguments is that he addresses the purpose of the petition; that's to say: to ask that any school on this site is open to all local children rather than a subset based on their parent's beliefs; by asserting that this amounts to an attack on those beliefs; an assertion which is absurd. As Mr Taylor points out, he is trained as a barrister; and I am sure that the not particularly difficult to spot absurdity in his postings is very evident to him. Indeed, if you Google "Philip Taylor Barrister", you'll find a wonderful YouTube video of him, complete with wig, expatiating upon the niceties of advocacy. Well worth watching, if I may say so, even if you don't have a thing about wigs. To return to the subject however, I would say that those opposed to the petition should concentrate their arguments upon justifying the position that Child A, whose parents are non-Catholics, of whatever flavour they wish, should be unable to attend this school; whilst Child B, who lives much further away, but whose parents regularly attend services at a Catholic Church, can be enrolled without any problem. Any other argument seems to me to miss the point, and I fear that Mr Taylor is seeking to muddy the waters by raising irrelevancies. LaurenceMann
  • Score: 0

5:36pm Mon 8 Aug 11

BS_Twickenham says...

Many of the people I know who are signing up to this petition, and passing on word to others, are parents at Twickenham primary schools, such as Archdeacon Cambridge, Trafalgar, Stanley and Chase Bridge. Parents of boys, in particular, are concerned that the links their schools currently have to Orleans Park or Teddington are going to be worthless in the near future, as closer primaries expand. For many local families, this new school in Clifden Road will be their only alternative to Twickenham Academy (which may be wonderful when it is rebuilt, and its recent changes are fully embedded, but that is as yet unproven). If the new school is fully inclusive then Catholics would be able to attend it too, and everyone would be treated equally. Catholics families would still have the additional option of applying to Catholic Schools in nearby boroughs if they wished to. I'm sure most local parents would agree that they would expect any new school to have an appropriate level of discipline, and would resent any suggestion that discipline would be compromised by their own children's presence at the school.
Many of the people I know who are signing up to this petition, and passing on word to others, are parents at Twickenham primary schools, such as Archdeacon Cambridge, Trafalgar, Stanley and Chase Bridge. Parents of boys, in particular, are concerned that the links their schools currently have to Orleans Park or Teddington are going to be worthless in the near future, as closer primaries expand. For many local families, this new school in Clifden Road will be their only alternative to Twickenham Academy (which may be wonderful when it is rebuilt, and its recent changes are fully embedded, but that is as yet unproven). If the new school is fully inclusive then Catholics would be able to attend it too, and everyone would be treated equally. Catholics families would still have the additional option of applying to Catholic Schools in nearby boroughs if they wished to. I'm sure most local parents would agree that they would expect any new school to have an appropriate level of discipline, and would resent any suggestion that discipline would be compromised by their own children's presence at the school. BS_Twickenham
  • Score: 0

9:18pm Mon 8 Aug 11

Twickenham resident says...

Interesting how yet again religion stirs such strong emotions.

If the site in Clifdon Road is given over to a Catholic School and by thus doing so, casts its net outside the Borough, how will this help the great many families within the Borough and many within walking distance, who will be excluded because of their religion?

Also, it will not solve the huge problem of no state funded sixth form provision for boys as an alternative to Richmond College, who it seems actively seeks students from a long way outside the Borough. Madness.
Interesting how yet again religion stirs such strong emotions. If the site in Clifdon Road is given over to a Catholic School and by thus doing so, casts its net outside the Borough, how will this help the great many families within the Borough and many within walking distance, who will be excluded because of their religion? Also, it will not solve the huge problem of no state funded sixth form provision for boys as an alternative to Richmond College, who it seems actively seeks students from a long way outside the Borough. Madness. Twickenham resident
  • Score: 0

1:17am Tue 9 Aug 11

ChrisSquire says...

BS_Twickenham is right to be concerned that the catchment area for Orleans School will shrink. An increase of 25 % in the total cohort implies that the area a school can serve must fall by 20 %. If the area was a circle round the school, its radius would fall by 10 %; Orleans’ area is bounded by the river to the south and east, so the shrinkage in distance may be more nearly proportional to that in area, 20 %, i.e. from 2 1/2 to 2 miles say.

I do not know how far west the area now stretches: perhaps someone else can tell us?
BS_Twickenham is right to be concerned that the catchment area for Orleans School will shrink. An increase of 25 % in the total cohort implies that the area a school can serve must fall by 20 %. If the area was a circle round the school, its radius would fall by 10 %; Orleans’ area is bounded by the river to the south and east, so the shrinkage in distance may be more nearly proportional to that in area, 20 %, i.e. from 2 1/2 to 2 miles say. I do not know how far west the area now stretches: perhaps someone else can tell us? ChrisSquire
  • Score: 0

9:53am Tue 9 Aug 11

sirarthurbliss says...

One moment the council report there will soon be a shortfall of at least two secondary schools in the borough. Next they announce a new school that will only be open to a small minority of children.

Putting aside party politics, is it any wonder that parents are up in arms?
One moment the council report there will soon be a shortfall of at least two secondary schools in the borough. Next they announce a new school that will only be open to a small minority of children. Putting aside party politics, is it any wonder that parents are up in arms? sirarthurbliss
  • Score: 0

2:43pm Tue 9 Aug 11

jtaranova says...

It's the same idea as with the riverside - nobody wanted it to be given to the small group of new home owners to enjoy the view, we wanted it for everybody.

Now those who have personal reasons (like those who's children are already in catholic primaries) want the school to themselves.

But nobody in their right mind (who is not having personal reasons) would justify the idea that children of catholic parents deserve a good school more than others.
It's the same idea as with the riverside - nobody wanted it to be given to the small group of new home owners to enjoy the view, we wanted it for everybody. Now those who have personal reasons (like those who's children are already in catholic primaries) want the school to themselves. But nobody in their right mind (who is not having personal reasons) would justify the idea that children of catholic parents deserve a good school more than others. jtaranova
  • Score: 0

8:28pm Wed 10 Aug 11

gaurav says...

The main issue is that in these tight times a religiously selective school is being created and given priority over creation of an inclusive school. The council has the responsibility for creating high quality schooling and create a level playing field for education for all. Hence this decision is appearing to be undemocratic and highly discriminatory to 90% of the non - catholic population. We are already aware of the gaps and issues around secondary school education in Richmond, the failure of the erstwhile Shene School International and the massive task ahead that lies in turning around RPA. Hence it is only fair and moral to give priority to more inclusive schools. The demand supply imbalance is growing to exceed and there is a need now in the borough for a new state secondary school and defintely another one in the next 3-4 years. The Council seems to have chosen the very worst, most restrictive option for adding a new secondary school. It is even out of line with its own policy to convert all the Community schools into Academies, and government policy on inclusiveness at faith schools. How has this been chosen to pursue as a top priority when there is a looming crisis in secondary school places for the borough's children. To get assurance that there will be a new inclusive school opened in the next 3-4 years is just not good enough. I also do not buy the political argument that there is bipartisan support. My humble opinion is that both parties have got this wrong and there should hold a proper public consultation before making this important decision. I have no problem with faith-based schools, that have a non-discriminatory intake. Majority of us in the borough are facing the bleak prospect of either paying around £ 100k for private seconday education per child or moving out of the borough if state secondary school options in the borough are not improved. Since the e-petition to support inclusive schools, was launced last week, it has already got an overwhelming support of nearly 700 parents. I am sure that many more will sign in the coming days. Every child in the education system in the borough deserves an equal and non discriminatory educational opportunity and does not deserve to be left behind.
The main issue is that in these tight times a religiously selective school is being created and given priority over creation of an inclusive school. The council has the responsibility for creating high quality schooling and create a level playing field for education for all. Hence this decision is appearing to be undemocratic and highly discriminatory to 90% of the non - catholic population. We are already aware of the gaps and issues around secondary school education in Richmond, the failure of the erstwhile Shene School International and the massive task ahead that lies in turning around RPA. Hence it is only fair and moral to give priority to more inclusive schools. The demand supply imbalance is growing to exceed and there is a need now in the borough for a new state secondary school and defintely another one in the next 3-4 years. The Council seems to have chosen the very worst, most restrictive option for adding a new secondary school. It is even out of line with its own policy to convert all the Community schools into Academies, and government policy on inclusiveness at faith schools. How has this been chosen to pursue as a top priority when there is a looming crisis in secondary school places for the borough's children. To get assurance that there will be a new inclusive school opened in the next 3-4 years is just not good enough. I also do not buy the political argument that there is bipartisan support. My humble opinion is that both parties have got this wrong and there should hold a proper public consultation before making this important decision. I have no problem with faith-based schools, that have a non-discriminatory intake. Majority of us in the borough are facing the bleak prospect of either paying around £ 100k for private seconday education per child or moving out of the borough if state secondary school options in the borough are not improved. Since the e-petition to support inclusive schools, was launced last week, it has already got an overwhelming support of nearly 700 parents. I am sure that many more will sign in the coming days. Every child in the education system in the borough deserves an equal and non discriminatory educational opportunity and does not deserve to be left behind. gaurav
  • Score: 0

9:01pm Wed 10 Aug 11

Lauralooland says...

Will this encourage more parents to pretend they are Catholic and get their children baptised into the Catholic religion in order to get their children into these schools?
Will this encourage more parents to pretend they are Catholic and get their children baptised into the Catholic religion in order to get their children into these schools? Lauralooland
  • Score: 0

9:01am Thu 11 Aug 11

PhillipTaylor says...

I have one question- do you have to be a catholic to go to the Catholic school? I think the answer is no.

Just because you go to a Catholic school or University does not mean you have to be a Catholic and that is certainly the position in the USA.

An ex socialist premier of British Columbia, Dave Barrett (who was Jewish) obtained a scholarship to Gonzaga University in Washington State is one of thousands of examples - so I understand- of non-Catholics attending Catholic institutions.

So are the critics of a Catholic school here saying that learners have to be Catholics to attend this proposed school?

I think we should have some answers as the statements being made suggest that there would be a ban on anyone else attending this school who is not a practising Catholic. Perhaps such an answer might assist some of your correspondents when they formulate their views.

Phillip Taylor
I have one question- do you have to be a catholic to go to the Catholic school? I think the answer is no. Just because you go to a Catholic school or University does not mean you have to be a Catholic and that is certainly the position in the USA. An ex socialist premier of British Columbia, Dave Barrett (who was Jewish) obtained a scholarship to Gonzaga University in Washington State is one of thousands of examples - so I understand- of non-Catholics attending Catholic institutions. So are the critics of a Catholic school here saying that learners have to be Catholics to attend this proposed school? I think we should have some answers as the statements being made suggest that there would be a ban on anyone else attending this school who is not a practising Catholic. Perhaps such an answer might assist some of your correspondents when they formulate their views. Phillip Taylor PhillipTaylor
  • Score: 0

10:49am Thu 11 Aug 11

ChrisSquire says...

Phillip Taylor: The admission criteria for the borough’s 6 catholic primary schools are set out at: http://tinyurl.com/3
wx39jb

They differ but the main focus is on ‘baptised Catholic children’; they will all accept ‘others’ to fill the school up. The Hierarchy has made it clear that it wants ‘voluntary aided’ status for the school so that it can apply a religious criterion to 100 % of the cohort each year; no doubt this would operate via a linked primary school system.

If it was instead an Academy it would be able to apply it to only 50 %.

Christ Church is the only faith secondary school; it offers 70 spaces to practising C of E children and 50 to all by distance: http://tinyurl.com/3
kz3kgt
Phillip Taylor: The admission criteria for the borough’s 6 catholic primary schools are set out at: http://tinyurl.com/3 wx39jb They differ but the main focus is on ‘baptised Catholic children’; they will all accept ‘others’ to fill the school up. The Hierarchy has made it clear that it wants ‘voluntary aided’ status for the school so that it can apply a religious criterion to 100 % of the cohort each year; no doubt this would operate via a linked primary school system. If it was instead an Academy it would be able to apply it to only 50 %. Christ Church is the only faith secondary school; it offers 70 spaces to practising C of E children and 50 to all by distance: http://tinyurl.com/3 kz3kgt ChrisSquire
  • Score: 0

11:19am Thu 11 Aug 11

ChrisSquire says...

Gaurav: the ‘bipartisan support’ is for the PRINCIPLE of a new catholic school; it was set out by Cllr Malcolm Eady in the debate on the petition last year, when there was no prospect of a site being found.

Welcoming the purchase of the Clifden Road site, he said on July 17: ‘ . . given this urgent need for extra community secondary school places and that we do not know the level of Government funding for a new Catholic school and a community secondary school, it would be premature to offer this property to others. We support the Catholic archdiocese's wish for a state Catholic Secondary school in the borough, but, with uncertainties over available resources, it should not be at the expense of community secondary school provision. The latter must have the first call on available public money and land. I hope the Government will fund both."’ http://tinyurl.com/3
e944nw

As this is the only site available, it is likely that we will get only one new school; our existing schools will be required to expand to take up the surplus. Liberal Democrats want this school to be a community one.

The local Green and Labour Parties have so far ignored this issue completely. They must be fast asleep.
Gaurav: the ‘bipartisan support’ is for the PRINCIPLE of a new catholic school; it was set out by Cllr Malcolm Eady in the debate on the petition last year, when there was no prospect of a site being found. Welcoming the purchase of the Clifden Road site, he said on July 17: ‘ . . given this urgent need for extra community secondary school places and that we do not know the level of Government funding for a new Catholic school and a community secondary school, it would be premature to offer this property to others. We support the Catholic archdiocese's wish for a state Catholic Secondary school in the borough, but, with uncertainties over available resources, it should not be at the expense of community secondary school provision. The latter must have the first call on available public money and land. I hope the Government will fund both."’ http://tinyurl.com/3 e944nw As this is the only site available, it is likely that we will get only one new school; our existing schools will be required to expand to take up the surplus. Liberal Democrats want this school to be a community one. The local Green and Labour Parties have so far ignored this issue completely. They must be fast asleep. ChrisSquire
  • Score: 0

12:03pm Thu 11 Aug 11

PhillipTaylor says...

Thank you, Chris Squire.

So the interpretation is that there is no exclusionary policy in Richmond for this proposed school- just scaremongering by the petitioners which is what I have been trying to highlight in earlier postings.

I take it that it is just the 'main focus' - your words - that they are baptized Catholics, so where is this mandatory Catholic requirement then which is what is being pursued by some to suggest that all other people will be excluded? This view is what seems to be being put forward at present when no decisions have been made.

Phillip Taylor
Thank you, Chris Squire. So the interpretation is that there is no exclusionary policy in Richmond for this proposed school- just scaremongering by the petitioners which is what I have been trying to highlight in earlier postings. I take it that it is just the 'main focus' - your words - that they are baptized Catholics, so where is this mandatory Catholic requirement then which is what is being pursued by some to suggest that all other people will be excluded? This view is what seems to be being put forward at present when no decisions have been made. Phillip Taylor PhillipTaylor
  • Score: 0

12:33pm Thu 11 Aug 11

jtaranova says...

Mr, Taylor, are you a parent of any preschool children? If not, this matter should not concern you at all.

And, yes, we are aware of the fact that officially non-catholics can attend a catholic school, but when I called St. James's to ask them what the chances are, they said my children would be priority Nr. 8, which never gets a place now as not even all the catholics get a place.

And when you said that most of the respondents seem to be missing the point, may be there is something wrong with you point.
Mr, Taylor, are you a parent of any preschool children? If not, this matter should not concern you at all. And, yes, we are aware of the fact that officially non-catholics can attend a catholic school, but when I called St. James's to ask them what the chances are, they said my children would be priority Nr. 8, which never gets a place now as not even all the catholics get a place. And when you said that most of the respondents seem to be missing the point, may be there is something wrong with you point. jtaranova
  • Score: 0

12:43pm Thu 11 Aug 11

ChrisSquire says...

I do wish Philip Taylor, just once in his life, would look things up for himself before offering his opinions at length. Here are the top 3 Roman Catholic borough primary school admission criteria:

‘Sacred Heart Catholic Primary, St Edmund’s Catholic Primary
Catholic children in public care
Baptised children of practising Catholic families
Other baptised children of Catholic families . .

St Elizabeth’s Catholic Primary
Baptised and practising in particular Catholic parish(es)
Baptised and practising in other Catholic parishes
Other baptised Catholic children . .

St James’s Catholic Primary
Baptised looked-after children from Catholic families
Baptised Catholic Siblings
Baptised practising Catholic children living in the parishes of St Theodore or St Margaret . .

St Mary Magdalen’s Catholic Primary
Catholic children in public care
Baptised Catholic children with siblings in attendance at the time of admission where one or both parents are practising Catholics in the parish of St Mary Magdalen
Baptised Catholic children with siblings in attendance at the time of admission where one or both parents are practising Catholics in other parishes . . ‘

St Osmund’s Catholic Primary
Baptised Catholic children, including members of churches in communion with the Holy See
Children of other Christian denominations . . ‘

I rest my case.
I do wish Philip Taylor, just once in his life, would look things up for himself before offering his opinions at length. Here are the top 3 Roman Catholic borough primary school admission criteria: ‘Sacred Heart Catholic Primary, St Edmund’s Catholic Primary Catholic children in public care Baptised children of practising Catholic families Other baptised children of Catholic families . . St Elizabeth’s Catholic Primary Baptised and practising in particular Catholic parish(es) Baptised and practising in other Catholic parishes Other baptised Catholic children . . St James’s Catholic Primary Baptised looked-after children from Catholic families Baptised Catholic Siblings Baptised practising Catholic children living in the parishes of St Theodore or St Margaret . . St Mary Magdalen’s Catholic Primary Catholic children in public care Baptised Catholic children with siblings in attendance at the time of admission where one or both parents are practising Catholics in the parish of St Mary Magdalen Baptised Catholic children with siblings in attendance at the time of admission where one or both parents are practising Catholics in other parishes . . ‘ St Osmund’s Catholic Primary Baptised Catholic children, including members of churches in communion with the Holy See Children of other Christian denominations . . ‘ I rest my case. ChrisSquire
  • Score: 0

12:46pm Thu 11 Aug 11

BS_Twickenham says...

All of our good local schools are very oversubsribed. Because Catholic VA schools prioritise Catholics over other groups in their admissions, the effect is that those other groups are excluded. Even among Catholics there can be competition for places, with 'practising' Catholics being prioritised over 'non-practising', on the basis of a priest's reference (see http://www.rcdow.org
.uk/education/defaul
t.asp?library_ref=8&
content_ref=849). If the school was undersubscribed then it would be much less of an issue, but that is almost inconceivable.

I don't speak for the Richmond Inclusive Schools Campaign, but I believe they have made it clear that, in line with the position of Accord (http://accordcoalit
ion.org.uk/), if the proposed Catholic school was to have open admissions, non-discriminatory employment practices, and an OFSTED-inspected RE curriculum then they would not oppose it. However, if that was the case it would be very different from every other VA Catholic school in England.
All of our good local schools are very oversubsribed. Because Catholic VA schools prioritise Catholics over other groups in their admissions, the effect is that those other groups are excluded. Even among Catholics there can be competition for places, with 'practising' Catholics being prioritised over 'non-practising', on the basis of a priest's reference (see http://www.rcdow.org .uk/education/defaul t.asp?library_ref=8& content_ref=849). If the school was undersubscribed then it would be much less of an issue, but that is almost inconceivable. I don't speak for the Richmond Inclusive Schools Campaign, but I believe they have made it clear that, in line with the position of Accord (http://accordcoalit ion.org.uk/), if the proposed Catholic school was to have open admissions, non-discriminatory employment practices, and an OFSTED-inspected RE curriculum then they would not oppose it. However, if that was the case it would be very different from every other VA Catholic school in England. BS_Twickenham
  • Score: 0

1:33pm Thu 11 Aug 11

gaurav says...

Chris - Thanks a lot for the clarification on the matter of bipartisan support - clearly we are being misled on that. What are the Lib Dem's doing since the purchase of the site to ensure it is a community school?
Chris - Thanks a lot for the clarification on the matter of bipartisan support - clearly we are being misled on that. What are the Lib Dem's doing since the purchase of the site to ensure it is a community school? gaurav
  • Score: 0

2:07pm Thu 11 Aug 11

PhillipTaylor says...

Mr Squire is being very selective again and as an investigative reporter he should know better as he is becoming obsessive about detail as usual and missing the main point.

All you have mentioned are primary schools, Mr Squire. The issue is a new secondary school.

Why are you being so misleading yourself when the easiest way of dealing with the issue for a senior school will be to set more liberal criteria as a policy... something you, as a Liberal, should be pursuing instead of misleading people.

If you and the other posters think there is an issue about equality, then use the Equality Act 2010 to make your case as you clearly feel that the Tories here are a bunch of prejudiced fools- presumably that also includes the previous Liberal councillors who supported a Catholic school here as they knew what the voters wanted- there was no 'inclusion' or 'exclusion' about it.

Phillip Taylor
Mr Squire is being very selective again and as an investigative reporter he should know better as he is becoming obsessive about detail as usual and missing the main point. All you have mentioned are primary schools, Mr Squire. The issue is a new secondary school. Why are you being so misleading yourself when the easiest way of dealing with the issue for a senior school will be to set more liberal criteria as a policy... something you, as a Liberal, should be pursuing instead of misleading people. If you and the other posters think there is an issue about equality, then use the Equality Act 2010 to make your case as you clearly feel that the Tories here are a bunch of prejudiced fools- presumably that also includes the previous Liberal councillors who supported a Catholic school here as they knew what the voters wanted- there was no 'inclusion' or 'exclusion' about it. Phillip Taylor PhillipTaylor
  • Score: 0

2:16pm Thu 11 Aug 11

ChrisSquire says...

Gaurav: the Council is in recess now until September 1 so it seems that nothing is happening: no doubt behind the scenes Cllr Elloy and colleagues are planning something; however they cannot by themselves stop the majority party from pressing ahead as long as it remains united.

It will however require the consent of the Secretary of State, Michael Gove, which he may not give - or he may sit on the proposal for months or years - and some central government money (I don’t know how much) which may not come.

The best thing parents can do is to contact their local councillors, particularly the Tory ones in St Margaret’s, Riverside, South Twickenham, Whitton and Heathfield, and Councillor Christine Percival (Barnes; Strategic Cabinet Member for Education, Youth & Children’s Services) and let them know in plain language how unhappy they are about this scheme.

It will no doubt be reviewed by the Education and Children’s Services Overview & Scrutiny Committee (chaired by the redoubtable Cllr Gareth Roberts) when it meets next, but that will be on October 17.

The petition (now up to 717 signatures) will lead to a mini-debate in Council, which will further expose the unfairness of the scheme.
Gaurav: the Council is in recess now until September 1 so it seems that nothing is happening: no doubt behind the scenes Cllr Elloy and colleagues are planning something; however they cannot by themselves stop the majority party from pressing ahead as long as it remains united. It will however require the consent of the Secretary of State, Michael Gove, which he may not give - or he may sit on the proposal for months or years - and some central government money (I don’t know how much) which may not come. The best thing parents can do is to contact their local councillors, particularly the Tory ones in St Margaret’s, Riverside, South Twickenham, Whitton and Heathfield, and Councillor Christine Percival (Barnes; Strategic Cabinet Member for Education, Youth & Children’s Services) and let them know in plain language how unhappy they are about this scheme. It will no doubt be reviewed by the Education and Children’s Services Overview & Scrutiny Committee (chaired by the redoubtable Cllr Gareth Roberts) when it meets next, but that will be on October 17. The petition (now up to 717 signatures) will lead to a mini-debate in Council, which will further expose the unfairness of the scheme. ChrisSquire
  • Score: 0

2:22pm Thu 11 Aug 11

TrevorC says...

BS says that "all good local schools are very oversubscribed". I'll declare an interest here in Twickenham Academy and point out that not only is it undersubscribed by 30 to 40 places but it is also a consistently improving school, with the GCSE results getting much closer to Orleans and Teddington Schools.

The new main school building is due to open in May 2013 and there has been a good investment in resources, such as equipment, facilities and staff, in the first year as an academy. It's very easibly accessible from Twickenham centre on an H22 or 110 bus in 5 to 10 minutes.

When I see the discussion about the need for more all inclusive schools and the desperate shortage of places in Twickenham, I can hold back no longer in saying give Twickenham Academy a chance and serious consideration! Don't overlook it.
BS says that "all good local schools are very oversubscribed". I'll declare an interest here in Twickenham Academy and point out that not only is it undersubscribed by 30 to 40 places but it is also a consistently improving school, with the GCSE results getting much closer to Orleans and Teddington Schools. The new main school building is due to open in May 2013 and there has been a good investment in resources, such as equipment, facilities and staff, in the first year as an academy. It's very easibly accessible from Twickenham centre on an H22 or 110 bus in 5 to 10 minutes. When I see the discussion about the need for more all inclusive schools and the desperate shortage of places in Twickenham, I can hold back no longer in saying give Twickenham Academy a chance and serious consideration! Don't overlook it. TrevorC
  • Score: 0

2:30pm Thu 11 Aug 11

Gareth Roberts says...

On a matter of clarification, I am not chair of the Education and Children's Services O&S Committee
On a matter of clarification, I am not chair of the Education and Children's Services O&S Committee Gareth Roberts
  • Score: 0

2:40pm Thu 11 Aug 11

ChrisSquire says...

My apologies: it is the other Gareth: Cllr Gareth Roberts (Hampton Wick, conservative)
My apologies: it is the other Gareth: Cllr Gareth Roberts (Hampton Wick, conservative) ChrisSquire
  • Score: 0

2:47pm Thu 11 Aug 11

BS_Twickenham says...

Just to clarify, I agree with TrevorC that Twickenham Academy has a promising future, and I in no way meant to imply that it wasn't a good school. Unfortunately it has a lot of prejudice to overcome in the local community. However, I don't think the solution is to 'force' families from South Twickenham and surrounding areas to send their children there as their only option. It needs to attract children on its own merits.

By the way, it is Gareth Evans who chairs the scrutiny committee.
Just to clarify, I agree with TrevorC that Twickenham Academy has a promising future, and I in no way meant to imply that it wasn't a good school. Unfortunately it has a lot of prejudice to overcome in the local community. However, I don't think the solution is to 'force' families from South Twickenham and surrounding areas to send their children there as their only option. It needs to attract children on its own merits. By the way, it is Gareth Evans who chairs the scrutiny committee. BS_Twickenham
  • Score: 0

3:32pm Thu 11 Aug 11

BS_Twickenham says...

Mr Taylor says "the easiest way of dealing with the issue for a senior school will be to set more liberal criteria as a policy."

The policies of VA schools are not set by local councils. They are set by the Catholic church. If this school is a VA school then the council would have no say in its admissions, employment or RE policy. The Catholic Church's policies for VA schools are published via the Catholic Education Service, so anyone can go and look them up.

Again, I don't speak for the campaign, but if you read its statements properly, you will see that it is not against a Catholic school per se. It is against schools discriminating in the ways I described earlier. A VA school would do that if it followed current policy, and a change in that policy would have implications for all Catholic schools nationally.
Mr Taylor says "the easiest way of dealing with the issue for a senior school will be to set more liberal criteria as a policy." The policies of VA schools are not set by local councils. They are set by the Catholic church. If this school is a VA school then the council would have no say in its admissions, employment or RE policy. The Catholic Church's policies for VA schools are published via the Catholic Education Service, so anyone can go and look them up. Again, I don't speak for the campaign, but if you read its statements properly, you will see that it is not against a Catholic school per se. It is against schools discriminating in the ways I described earlier. A VA school would do that if it followed current policy, and a change in that policy would have implications for all Catholic schools nationally. BS_Twickenham
  • Score: 0

4:11pm Thu 11 Aug 11

James Heather says...

The school will prioritise Catholics which can provide a letter from a priest to show they regularly attend mass (this is defined quite clearly and allows very few to missed each year) over Catholics which attend less regularly and even further over non practicing babtised Catholics.

We wish the Twickenham Academy all the best however, no one is saying there is a severe shortage of places today. The data clearly shows that a crisis is looming. If we build a catholic secondary school we will need to further schools to built to meet the need by 2017.

If the catholic church proposes a school which will follow the catholic faith but not have a discriminatory admissions or employment policy, and allow all aspects of the curriculum to be OFSTED controlled the RISC will not oppose it. Many of our supporters do not oppose faith schools in principle.

BS_Twickenham is correct about the way an admissions policy is set by a VA Catholic school. The council will have o say. Also if the school proposes an admissions policy which is not completely discriminatory as long as it is a VA school it can change it at will in the future.

We have started the e-petition with an intention to promote it and leaflet schools in September. Yet without any promotion other than this article it has received over 700 signatures in the first week.

Please do sign up at: www.tinyurl.com\risc
petition1
The school will prioritise Catholics which can provide a letter from a priest to show they regularly attend mass (this is defined quite clearly and allows very few to missed each year) over Catholics which attend less regularly and even further over non practicing babtised Catholics. We wish the Twickenham Academy all the best however, no one is saying there is a severe shortage of places today. The data clearly shows that a crisis is looming. If we build a catholic secondary school we will need to further schools to built to meet the need by 2017. If the catholic church proposes a school which will follow the catholic faith but not have a discriminatory admissions or employment policy, and allow all aspects of the curriculum to be OFSTED controlled the RISC will not oppose it. Many of our supporters do not oppose faith schools in principle. BS_Twickenham is correct about the way an admissions policy is set by a VA Catholic school. The council will have o say. Also if the school proposes an admissions policy which is not completely discriminatory as long as it is a VA school it can change it at will in the future. We have started the e-petition with an intention to promote it and leaflet schools in September. Yet without any promotion other than this article it has received over 700 signatures in the first week. Please do sign up at: www.tinyurl.com\risc petition1 James Heather
  • Score: 0

4:15pm Thu 11 Aug 11

James Heather says...

I should clarify my first point assumes the school is oversubscribed. However the data regarding the looming bulge in places required is very clear and it is regarded by all, including the VA school supporters that it will be.
I should clarify my first point assumes the school is oversubscribed. However the data regarding the looming bulge in places required is very clear and it is regarded by all, including the VA school supporters that it will be. James Heather
  • Score: 0

2:51am Fri 12 Aug 11

metis says...

Very good letter from Martin Seymour in this weeks 'Informer'
Very good letter from Martin Seymour in this weeks 'Informer' metis
  • Score: 0

11:07am Fri 12 Aug 11

ChrisSquire says...

Here is the admission policy for the Catholic Richard Challoner School for Boys in New Malden:

‘Where the number of applicants exceed the number of places within any of the above categories, the following tie breakers will be applied in the order stated, using the following criteria:

1. The strength of evidence of commitment to the applicant’s faith, where appropriate, as demonstrated by the child’s level of Mass attendance on a Sunday or equivalent (for Catholic applicants), or level of attendance at religious services (for applicants of other faiths). Applicants will be ranked according to the evidence provided on Supplementary Information Form ‘B’ (available from the school), which must be endorsed by the priest or minister of religion where the child normally worships. Applicants who worship weekly will have priority, followed by those who practise fortnightly, and so on.

2. Within each level of attendance (ie weekly, fortnightly, etc) the following tie breakers will apply:

A: A boy with a brother on roll at the time of admission. A brother is defined as a full, step or half brother, or a legally adopted brother living at the same address on the date of application.

B: A boy attending one of the following 7 Catholic primary schools in the Kingston or Sutton Deanery: Corpus Christi, Our Lady Immaculate, St Agatha’s, St Joseph’s, St Cecilia’s, St Mary’s Junior and St Elphege’s Federation, or St Clement’s (Ewell).

C: Distance from the school, as measured by the shortest walking distance from the applicant’s home to the school gate (adjacent to the school garage) used by students, located on Manor Drive North. This distance will be measured using Kingston LA’s School Admissions geographical information system, or another system approved by the governing body.

D: Where there is a tie for places, a random selection procedure (lottery) will be used to identify the applicant to be offered the remaining place.’

http://www.kingston.
gov.uk/sif_rchallone
rforma2011.pdf
Here is the admission policy for the Catholic Richard Challoner School for Boys in New Malden: ‘Where the number of applicants exceed the number of places within any of the above categories, the following tie breakers will be applied in the order stated, using the following criteria: 1. The strength of evidence of commitment to the applicant’s faith, where appropriate, as demonstrated by the child’s level of Mass attendance on a Sunday or equivalent (for Catholic applicants), or level of attendance at religious services (for applicants of other faiths). Applicants will be ranked according to the evidence provided on Supplementary Information Form ‘B’ (available from the school), which must be endorsed by the priest or minister of religion where the child normally worships. Applicants who worship weekly will have priority, followed by those who practise fortnightly, and so on. 2. Within each level of attendance (ie weekly, fortnightly, etc) the following tie breakers will apply: A: A boy with a brother on roll at the time of admission. A brother is defined as a full, step or half brother, or a legally adopted brother living at the same address on the date of application. B: A boy attending one of the following 7 Catholic primary schools in the Kingston or Sutton Deanery: Corpus Christi, Our Lady Immaculate, St Agatha’s, St Joseph’s, St Cecilia’s, St Mary’s Junior and St Elphege’s Federation, or St Clement’s (Ewell). C: Distance from the school, as measured by the shortest walking distance from the applicant’s home to the school gate (adjacent to the school garage) used by students, located on Manor Drive North. This distance will be measured using Kingston LA’s School Admissions geographical information system, or another system approved by the governing body. D: Where there is a tie for places, a random selection procedure (lottery) will be used to identify the applicant to be offered the remaining place.’ http://www.kingston. gov.uk/sif_rchallone rforma2011.pdf ChrisSquire
  • Score: 0

11:26am Fri 12 Aug 11

James Heather says...

Thank you Chris. I suspect some of the parents supporting a new catholic secondary school here, who have children at catholic primaries in Richmond would actually miss out on a place to children from outside the borough whose parents are more devote.
Thank you Chris. I suspect some of the parents supporting a new catholic secondary school here, who have children at catholic primaries in Richmond would actually miss out on a place to children from outside the borough whose parents are more devote. James Heather
  • Score: 0

11:33am Fri 12 Aug 11

James Heather says...

Sorry, 'devout' not devote.
I responded via my phone keypad.
Sorry, 'devout' not devote. I responded via my phone keypad. James Heather
  • Score: 0

1:31pm Fri 12 Aug 11

BS_Twickenham says...

Metis refers to a letter in this week's Informer. The same letter is also in the RTT. Unfortunately the author of the letter misunderstands the aim of the campaign. As discussed in other comments above, and confirmed by a campaign spokesperson, the RISC group would not oppose a Catholic school that had inclusive admissions, a non-discriminatory employment policy, and a curriculum that was fully OFSTED-inspected. Perhaps that message needs to be broadcast more clearly, and perhaps the Catholic community could then consider lobbying their leaders for a more liberal (national) education policy.
Metis refers to a letter in this week's Informer. The same letter is also in the RTT. Unfortunately the author of the letter misunderstands the aim of the campaign. As discussed in other comments above, and confirmed by a campaign spokesperson, the RISC group would not oppose a Catholic school that had inclusive admissions, a non-discriminatory employment policy, and a curriculum that was fully OFSTED-inspected. Perhaps that message needs to be broadcast more clearly, and perhaps the Catholic community could then consider lobbying their leaders for a more liberal (national) education policy. BS_Twickenham
  • Score: 0

2:01pm Fri 12 Aug 11

Gareth Roberts says...

I haven't seen the letter in the Informer, only the version in this paper, but I think it would have been useful had it been made explicit that Mr Seymour is currently Chairman of the Twickenham Conservative Association.
I haven't seen the letter in the Informer, only the version in this paper, but I think it would have been useful had it been made explicit that Mr Seymour is currently Chairman of the Twickenham Conservative Association. Gareth Roberts
  • Score: 0

2:48pm Fri 12 Aug 11

sirarthurbliss says...

Mr Seymour's mindset was clear as soon as he introduced himself as "the head of a... family".
Mr Seymour's mindset was clear as soon as he introduced himself as "the head of a... family". sirarthurbliss
  • Score: 0

8:16am Sat 13 Aug 11

gaurav says...

Please sign the online ePetition proposing that all new borough schools should be inclusive http://tinyurl.com/r
iscpetition
Please sign the online ePetition proposing that all new borough schools should be inclusive http://tinyurl.com/r iscpetition gaurav
  • Score: 0

10:46am Sat 13 Aug 11

James Heather says...

Thanks Guarav. Just a quick clarification. There is a 1 on the end...


http://tinyurl.com/r
iscpetition1
Thanks Guarav. Just a quick clarification. There is a 1 on the end... http://tinyurl.com/r iscpetition1 James Heather
  • Score: 0

2:16pm Sat 13 Aug 11

Stephen Smith says...

In response to Chris Squire's point, Richmond & Twickenham Green Party fully supports the 'Richmond Inclusive Schools Campaign' and recently asked its members and supporters to sign the petition to force a formal debate in the Council, which may be one reason why the number of signatories has increased significantly in the last week or so.
In response to Chris Squire's point, Richmond & Twickenham Green Party fully supports the 'Richmond Inclusive Schools Campaign' and recently asked its members and supporters to sign the petition to force a formal debate in the Council, which may be one reason why the number of signatories has increased significantly in the last week or so. Stephen Smith
  • Score: 0

5:47pm Sun 14 Aug 11

VC TW2 says...

Most fellow Catholics supporting the petition for a Catholic school in the borough have no real interest in a faith based education but as most parents will do whatever it takes to get their children in a good school! As faith schools operate selective policies they are often of a high standard which leads to so many parents developing a sudden interest in the church at key stages of their children's education. Those parents who have had to jump through hoops to get their children into the very competitive catholic primaries are obviously well versed in making their voices heard despite representing a small minority within the borough, but the views of the silent majority should be fully consulted before even considering this illogical proposal.
Most fellow Catholics supporting the petition for a Catholic school in the borough have no real interest in a faith based education but as most parents will do whatever it takes to get their children in a good school! As faith schools operate selective policies they are often of a high standard which leads to so many parents developing a sudden interest in the church at key stages of their children's education. Those parents who have had to jump through hoops to get their children into the very competitive catholic primaries are obviously well versed in making their voices heard despite representing a small minority within the borough, but the views of the silent majority should be fully consulted before even considering this illogical proposal. VC TW2
  • Score: 0

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