Many families will know only too well how difficult it is to gain a place in a Catholic primary school in certain parts of the deanery, and this is rapidly becoming an even bigger problem at secondary level.
The Weybridge Deanery covers the boroughs of Elmbridge and Runnymede and contains within it seven Catholic primary schools: Cardinal Newman, Hersham; Holy Family, Addlestone; St. Alban’s, Molesey; St. Anne’s, Chertsey; St. Charles Borromeo, Weybridge; St. Cuthbert’s, Englefield Green and St. Paul’s, Thames Ditton.
Between the seven schools there are 10 (soon rising to 11) forms of entry, which equates to a total of 330 students in each year group across the schools. Salesian School is the Catholic secondary school for our deanery and the primary schools named above all feed into it.
However, Salesian School has only 220 places in each year group. In the coming days families will learn which secondary school their children have been allocated a place at for September. Unsurprisingly, a large number will be disappointed to learn that they have not been allocated a place at Salesian School despite their children being baptised Catholics who have completed their First Holy Communion and regularly attend church. We have had well over 400 applications from Catholic families and approximately 270 of these are from families with Catholic children in one of our feeder schools. That is many more than we have room for.
We have made plans to bridge some of this gap for 2015-16, as you will see in this letter from our Headteacher James Kibble (below). However, we need your help to make a sustainable, year-on-year difference.
If you are a parent, prospective parent, parishioner or friend of the school, or if you feel strongly about this issue, please read the full letter from the Headteacher, and write to your local councillor to ask what they might do to resolve the situation.