Much of this week has been taken up with supporting St Aloysius Catholic Primary School, as the Diocese of Westminster and the school governors began the consultation with the school community about the possibility of closing the school.

As you will see in the first item in the bulletin, Philip McCorkell has shared this sad news. The reason for the consultation is based on the declining numbers of school-age children living in the area. This has meant fewer applications for places, and over a period of time this has directly impacted on the financial sustainability of the school.

I have worked with the school over the last two academic years and I have been impressed with the commitment from the Senior Leadership Team, teachers and governors, which has led to significant improvement. I am very proud of the work they have undertaken and their dedication to the school community.

Clearly, the school community are shocked by the decision to consult on closure. However, the direct consequence of this consultation is that parents will be beginning to look for alternative places for their children, even though a decision has not been made. Over the next few weeks, Sandra Lawal and the Admissions Team will be contacting each primary school, checking the status of vacancies at Camden schools so that we can provide up to date, accurate information for parents.

Parents have been told that the nearest Catholic Primary School, Our Lady’s Catholic Primary School, is able to expand to accommodate children from St Aloysius Catholic Primary School. This is designed to provide continuity for those families who value the ethos and mission of a Catholic education. Parents have also been told that there are currently places available in all local primary schools, and families will have a choice of schools for their child if St Aloysius Catholic Primary School closes. The aim is to provide an offer to best fit their preferences and circumstances.

Camden has a strong reputation for inclusion and serving our community, and I trust you will share my belief that it’s a collective responsibility to make provision for St Aloysius children in our Camden schools – where possible.

We have the annual Governors Conference taking place on Saturday 18th May 2019 in the morning. It’s being held at the new Maria Fidelis site, Drummond Crescent. Please could you signpost and encourage your governors to attend the conference. Rebecca Allen, Professor at UCL will be talking about pupil premium amongst other things; and the morning will include a range of pertinent workshops.

Jon Abbey

Managing Director, Camden Learning

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