The Catholic Church is to be given £30 million in the London Borough of Wandsworth to open a “faith school”. The school in Battersea, planned to open in 2012, will merge two already failing Catholic Schools John Paul II School in Southfields and Salesian College in Battersea. So much for the “religious ethos” guaranteeing success.
A new trust, formed by the Salesians of Don Bosco and the Archdiocese of Southwark, will run the school with Wandsworth Council funding it through the Building Schools for the Future project.
At a meeting on Thursday it was billed as a totally new school that would be “high achieving and disciplined with a strong Catholic ethos”. But parents of local primary children questioned how such a school could be formed by amalgamating two schools with reputations for bad behaviour and poor results. John Paul II has just been pulled out of special measures after Ofsted threatened to close it. One parent told the local paper: “If you combine two bad businesses you’ll end up with another bad business.”
The school will give priority to baptised Catholics, but must guarantee a place to every child from John Paul II and Salesian College, both of which have non-Catholic children on their rolls. “How do you ensure that the school will have a strong Catholic ethos if a substantial proportion of the pupils starting there do not subscribe to it?” asked one parent.
view the consultation document here;
taken from National Secular Society