No new faith school in Hampton Water

What's happening?

The growing community of Hampton Water in east Peterborough need a new school. An inclusive new academy has been proposed, but the council are instead considering opening a new Catholic faith school. We're supporting residents to oppose this.

The decision came down to Peterborough Council, who had two options:

  1. Approve the faith school which will be able to select up to 100% of its pupils and teachers based on religion and teach denominational religious education.
  2. Reject the proposal so alternative proposals for an inclusive new school on the site might move forward.

Unfortunately, they opted for the first. Our briefing clearly sets out why this proposal should not be approved.

  1. In the first year up to 80% of places may be subject to religious discrimination in admissions, meaning it won't serve all local families. This may rise to 100% in future years.
  2. There is a clear well-established alternative proposal for a community ethos academy which will be free from religious discrimination.
  3. The school will be able to religiously discriminate against/in favour of all teachers.
  4. Religious education and RSE will be taught from a religious perspective.
  5. All the capital funding is coming from public sources (90% from the DfE and 10% from a Section 106 agreement with the council) but the Diocese will own the school. All running costs will be paid by taxpayers.

Update 24 November 2020: Despite despite concerns over their decision making process and strong public opposition, the Council rejected a challenge of their support of the proposed faith school, in February 2020. The proposal is currently moving forward, but local opposition is growing as more residents move into the Hampton Water Development only to find out they may not be welcome at their local school. We remain hopeful that the decision will be overturned and that an inclusive community-ethos alternative will be introduced.

Update 15 January 2021

The school (now named St John Henry Newman) has launched a consultation on their admissions arrangements. This will run until 19 February 2021. There is also an ongoing e-Petition on the Peterborough City Council website, aiming for 500 signatures to secure a debate.

"At a Catholic school, Catholic doctrine and practice permeate every aspect of the school's activity. It is essential that the Catholic character of the school's education be fully supported by all families in the school. We therefore hope that all parents will give their full, unreserved and positive support for the aims and ethos of the school." - Final proposal document

Who are we?

No More Faith Schools is a national campaign coordinated by the National Secular Society and with supporters from a broad social, political and religious spectrum. We're dedicated to an end to state funded faith schools. We would like all schools to have an inclusive community ethos, free from any religious discrimination, privilege or control.

We help people challenge new faith schools, particularly where they have discriminatory admissions rules and where there are proposals for inclusive alternatives.

When do you get a say?

We have opened a new petition to the Secretary of State for education calling on them to support the alternative inclusive proposal and to the local council, asking them to reverse their support of the faith school.

Hampton Water: make our school inclusive

This petition calls on Peterborough City Council to revisit their decision to force an exclusive Catholic faith school on the community of Hampton Water. The new school should serve the whole community without privilege or discrimination. We are calling on the secretary of state for education (Gavin Williamson) to support proposed alternative, an inclusive community-ethos academy.

Hampton Water: make our school inclusive

Related news

First Catholic school in Northern Ireland to become integrated

Posted: Thu, 25 Mar 2021 09:23

The Northern Ireland executive has approved a plan for a Catholic school to become an integrated one...

Seaview Primary School to integrate

Research bank shows deep flaws in case for faith schools

Posted: Tue, 02 Mar 2021 09:39

A substantial new analysis of academic research has highlighted significant weaknesses in the arguments...

Faith school signs

Apology issued after church accuses residents opposed to faith school

Posted: Wed, 10 Feb 2021 18:10

A Catholic diocese has apologised over a message in a church's newsletter about local opposition to a...

Apology issued after church accuses residents over faith school

Four new C of E faith schools moving forward with little scrutiny

Posted: Tue, 09 Feb 2021 17:28

Four new state-funded Church of England faith schools have moved closer to opening, despite a lack of...

No More Faith Schools protest outside parliament

Don’t let new Catholic school discriminate in admissions, warns NMFS

Posted: Tue, 02 Feb 2021 12:23

The NMFS campaign has raised the concerns of parents in Peterborough over plans to allow discriminatory...

Inclusive schools for all

Mother has to send three children to separate schools due to religious discrimination

Posted: Tue, 19 Jan 2021 14:43

A mother must send her three children to different schools due to discriminatory faith school admissions...

School sign

Share this campaign