Ambitious plans for new comprehensive
Trust wants to open free school to meet demand
HILLINGDON borough could be home to a new Church of England ‘free’ school if an Academy Trust bid is successful.
The Bishop Ramsey Academy Trust will submit a bid to the Department for Education on March 2, for permission to open a free school in the north of the borough.
The new school, which will be called Bishop Arden Church of England School, will be a six form entry comprehensive, for pupils aged 11 to 18, and is planned to open in September 2018.
Andrew Wilcock, who has been headteacher at Bishop Ramsey Church of England School in Ruislip since 2002, said: “For us at the Bishop Ramsey Academy Trust, starting a new school to serve a different group of people is a logical step.
“I am very aware that the demand for places at Bishop Ramsey far outweighs the number of places we can offer.
“Parents tell me of their frustration at not being granted a place for their child at Bishop Ramsey and this is an issue that I have been keen to address for some time.
“We know that our new school, Bishop Arden Church of England School, will help us to address this demand.
“Our new school, Bishop Arden Church of England School, will not, however, simply be a ‘Bishop Ramsey 2’, it will take some of the best of our current practice to create something which is exciting, dynamic and suited to the particular needs and aspirations of children in its local area.”
The new school will build upon principles established at Bishop Ramsey Church of England School, but will offer at least 50 per cent of places to children of non-Christian faiths or no faith.
The trust hopes that members of all faith communities will see Bishop Arden School as the natural place to send their children because it will “share the high standards that Bishop Ramsey is known for”.
The Academy Trust, if given the go-ahead will work with the DfE to seek a site for the new school within a mile and a half of Ruislip.
Ultimately, the decision of where the school will be is in the hands of the Education Funding Agency, but the trust hope for a location in the north of the borough as this will be close enough to Bishop Ramsey to “enable resources to be shared easily”.
Bishop Ramsey will be holding two open evenings to give more information to prospective parents, whose children will currently be in Year 3 and Year 4.
These events will be held on February 22 and 23, at 7pm at Bishop Ramsey School, Hume Way, Ruislip, HA4 8EE.
Parents who are interested in attending the new school are invited to register on Bishop Arden School’s website at www.bishopardenschool. org.