School will resolve the places shortfall
RESIDENTS in the north of the Borough can feel reassured that two different groups have high quality proposals for a new school to meet the need for secondary school places.
The proposal from five local headteachers is for a school which will replicate all the other schools in the area. In contrast, the proposal by Bishop Ramsey and the London Diocese is for a quite different school – one which is open to all and celebrates the cultures of the different faith groups that make up our local community.
This school, which will be called Bishop Arden School, won’t appeal to everyone but it will be a natural choice for many people. In addition to a gold standard education, it will offer a context in which young people grow in their own religious tradition and learn about the beliefs and practices of their classmates.
Bishop Arden School will be unique in the way that celebration of difference and nurturing of respect are part of its DNA. It will be a school that lives out its motto ‘where world faiths learn well together’.
Of course, some parents will not want this for their child, but for others, who are frustrated in their attempts to gain admission to Bishop Ramsey, due to it being heavily oversubscribed, it will come as a huge relief. When these families choose Bishop Arden it will leave places available to the other schools in the north of the borough – and not only will the school places shortfall be addressed, more families will get their first choice of secondary school as well. ANDREW WILCOCK Headteacher Bishop Ramsey Church of England School