CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Children need to go to a school where they feel comfortable and thrive

06 June, 2019

St Aloysius Primary School

• THE Somers Town community is awaiting a detailed equalities impact assessment for the proposed closure of St Aloysius Primary School, (Closure threatened school told ‘even a single-form entry is not viable’, May 21).

So far, none has been produced. There is a tremendous diversity in Somers Town families and those choosing a faith school are often making a choice based on history, culture, not being a minority, making friends that can be seen out of school, parents making friends, etc, rather than being of a particular denomination.

There will be a big impact on Our Lady’s Primary School unless there is an intention to permanently increase the size of that school.

More Catholic children means that siblings of non-practising families will fail to get into the school, which will cause problem further down the line.

At St Aloysius there are some really deprived children. Their parents may make less informed choices about their schooling and could be less supportive if their child is sent to a school that they don’t like or is further away.

It could be that attendance for Somers Town kids will plummet as a result of the closure of St Aloysius and that has huge implications for their futures.

It is therefore very important to see a detailed breakdown of the children currently attending St Aloysius, in terms of where they live, faith, ethnicity and family group, attendance, etc, along with a similar breakdown of the schools Camden is proposing to send them to.

It would be good to know how large numbers of children will integrate into perhaps very different schools, how they are going to keep siblings and friends together, etc.

It is not enough just to offer these children a place in another Camden school; they need to go to a school where they will feel comfortable and thrive.

CLLR PAUL TOMLINSON
Labour, St Pancras & Somers Town ward

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