The consultation on the use of the Clifden Road site in Twickenham will begin tomorrow, giving parents their right to say whether they welcome or oppose a Catholic school in the borough.

Richmond Council’s consultation runs from Friday, January 20, to Friday, March 16, following the Secretary of State’s decision to allow the Diocese of Westminster to push-on with plans for a Catholic secondary school.

Parents can go online to comment on proposals for a five-form entry Catholic secondary school and a one-form entry primary school on the Clifden Road site.

The diocese will carry out its own consultation, which will run from Friday, January 20, to Friday, February 17.

Chairman of the Diocese of Westminster’s education commission Bishop John Sherrington said: “Catholic parents have long expressed the need for a Catholic secondary school in the borough of Richmond. The Diocese of Westminster, together with the Archdiocese of Southwark, have for many years been working hard, in partnership with Richmond Council, to make this aspiration become a reality.”

The council will not base the final decision on the quantity of responses for or against the proposal, but will assess the arguments presented and judge in context of the consultation and in relation to the overall schools plan.

The council’s cabinet member for schools, Councillor Paul Hodgins, said: “We’ve made a long term commitment to providing a Catholic school in this borough and we’ve got to decide whether this is the best way to do it.”

Within the proposal, a third of the inset places at the primary school would be reserved for non-faith pupils – a proportion secured into the secondary school and into the sixth form.

The secondary school would follow the Catholic admissions criteria for voluntary aided schools, where Catholics will be given priority places.

Leader of the council Lord True said: “We are not talking here about a nuclear waste dump or an industrial site; we are talking about a new school in our borough.

“We have made commitments both to support the introduction of a Catholic secondary school and to listen to the views of residents. We will honour both commitments, and we will make a decision based on all factors.”

The diocese is hosting drop-in sessions on Tuesday, January 24, at St James Catholic Primary School in Twickenham and on Tuesday, February 7, at St Elizabeth Catholic Primary School in Richmond.

For more information on the council’s consultation, visit For the diocese consultation visit