A Christian (all-through) faith school has been proposed in Haringey, London, which appears to be linked to the IPIE Learning Centre. The centre has experience providing for special educational needs but does not appear to have experience running a school. Its "key message" is "be all that God created you to be".
There are already 23 faith schools in Haringey, and according to the government's free school application information no new school places are needed in the borough. According to the Department for Education's local authority school places scorecard 2019, zero new primary or secondary school places were needed across the whole borough for September 2021.
We have approached London Borough of Haringey, seeking the local authority's view. We've also contacted the East of England and North-East London regional school commissioner (as well as the DfE) seeking copies of the proposal, so we can properly scrutinise it.
Update 6 July 2020: The Department for Education has refused to publish the application forms for 19 faith schools proposed in wave 14 of the free school programme. They have confirmed that an unspecified number of these applications have been rejected, though they may reappear in a future round. The Department's justification includes that application should be "free from speculation and lobbying until the final decision is made". We regard this as an unacceptable attempt to restrict criticism from civil society and are considering an appeal against the decision.
What's our view?
It is particularly important that families with special educational needs have access to inclusive, community ethos schools which meet their needs, rather than being left with no choice but a faith school.
If there is a need for more mainstream or special school places in Haringey, then all relevant parties (the local authority, DfE, regional school commissioner and local education providers) should work together to develop an alternative with a community ethos. The full proposal should be published to allow proper scrutiny and a timeline for any consultations should be set out.
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?
This application is part of wave 14 of the government's free school programme. The application may also reappear in future waves. Dates of this wave may be subject to change as a result of the Covid-19 crisis and opportunities for consultation are extremely limited. Interviews with wave 14 applicants may take place from spring 2020, with decisions by the DfE from the summer.
We're seeking further information and will update supporters as soon as we know more about any consultations or a chance to have your say. Please sign and share the petition below, ideally with a comment, to contribute to our challenge against the proposal.
Oppose the new IPIE Trust faith school, Haringey
A Christian faith school shouldn't be opened in Haringey, without consultation or scrutiny. Any new school should have an inclusive community ethos, not an exclusive faith based one.
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