School will re­solve the places short­fall

Harefield Gazette - - OPINION -

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

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