More Roman Catholic primary schools are needed in Cambridgeshire, says faith leader

PUBLISHED: 17:39 29 June 2015 | UPDATED: 17:39 29 June 2015

Adrian Loades, Executive Director, Families and Adults.

Adrian Loades, Executive Director, Families and Adults.


More Roman Catholic primary schools are needed in Cambridgeshire, according to a faith leader.

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The assistant director of the school service at the Roman Catholic Diocese of East Anglia has written to Cambridgeshire County Council calling for them to support the establishment of new RC primary schools.

They do not want mixed faith schools, such as All Saints in March, where there is a 50/50 split between RC and Church of England, as this does not reflect the “wider national position which is to preserve the RC nature and ethos of its schools.”

The letter has prompted a report by Adrian Loades, executive director for children, families and adults services who said: “This has highlighted the fact that although the council has a policy and process for opening new schools, it does not have a policy on responding to requests from faith groups to establish new denominational schools.”

“Such a policy is needed to provide clarity and transparency for potential promoters, including RC and C of E diocesan authorities, parents, carers and other interested parties by setting out the factors that the council would take into account when determining whether or not to support of approve proposals for the establishment of new denominational schools.”

Across Cambridgeshire there are 20 voluntary aided, 38 voluntary controlled, 101 community schools and 10 foundation primary schools.

The voluntary aided schools include two RC primaries in Cambridge city and two inter church schools.

There are four converter academies - one secondary and three primaries.

The Diocese of Ely is the sponsor of two new primary schools, Pathfinder at Northstowe, near Cambridge and Alconbury Weald, near Huntingdon.

When they open in 2016 the catchment and sibling criteria will take priority over children of regular worshippers of a Christian church.

However, the school service of the RC Diocese of East Anglia has confirmed they would not be able to adopt the same approach.

The report is due to be discussed at Cambridgeshire County Council on Tuesday June 30.

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