Raine’s Foundation School: Pupil loses legal fight over closure consultation

Raine's Foundation School in Bethnal Green. Picture: Mike Brooke

Raine's Foundation School in Bethnal Green. Picture: Mike Brooke - Credit: Mike Brooke

A pupil has lost a legal fight over a consultation on the future of a 300-year-old Bethnal Green school.

The girl, backed by her parents, complained that a council consultation on the future of Raine's Foundation School was a sham and should be halted pending a High Court review.

She said Tower Hamlets Council had already decided to shut Raine's.

But council bosses disputed her claims and said no decision had been made.

A judge, who was told that Raine's was one of the oldest schools of its kind in London, ruled in their favour.

Mr Justice Johnson, who analysed arguments at a High Court hearing in London, blocked the girl's bid for a judicial review after concluding that she had no chance of winning.

The girl, a Year 8 pupil at Raine's, was not named at the hearing or in court papers.

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Lawyers said her mother had instructed lawyers on her behalf.

Lawyer Yogi Amin, who is based at law firm Irwin Mitchell and represented the girl and her family, said after the judge's ruling: "Our clients believe that the council need to keep an open mind and support the school to remain open and flourish."

He added: "Some children and families feel they have been left in limbo in relation to available school places and our client encourages all residents to respond to the council's consultation to support the need for the school and highlight the impact on individuals of closure of this important school."

There has been a long-running battle to save the school, which is one of only two Church of England secondary schools in the borough and has has been running at half capacity. Pupils are facing being transferred to nearby Oaklands.

A Tower Hamlets Council spokeswoman said: "We welcome the High Court's judgement which has recognised the carefully considered and lawful decision making process throughout the consultation on the potential closure of Raine's Foundation School. We will continue to comply with the legal framework in taking further decisions."