Search

Two Tower Hamlets primary schools face closure

PUBLISHED: 17:01 24 January 2020 | UPDATED: 17:01 24 January 2020

The plan is to close Guardian Angels School and moves its pupils with St Anne's Catholic Primary. Picture: Google

The plan is to close Guardian Angels School and moves its pupils with St Anne's Catholic Primary. Picture: Google

Archant

Two Tower Hamlets primary schools are facing closure because of “significant concern” over falling pupil numbers.

Smithy Street Primary will be merged with Redlands School in Stepney. Picture: GoogleSmithy Street Primary will be merged with Redlands School in Stepney. Picture: Google

The town hall is proposing to merge Guardian Angels in Mile End with St Anne's Catholic primary school in Whitechapel and Smithy Street with Redlands schools in Stepney.

A report by the council's corporate director of children's services Debbie Jones found the schools would "not have sufficient reception numbers to fill three forms of entry" from September.

It states: "There is significant concern over the long-term sustainability of primary schools in certain parts of the borough, in terms of their falling rolls and the resultant risk to their financial stability.

"The former is a result of demographic changes in the borough where the local demand for school places has fallen and is projected to remain broadly static until 2026/27 and possibly beyond."

The mayor is expected to announce plans to consult on closing Guardian Angels and Smithy Street Primary School at a cabinet meeting on Wednesday, January 29.

A preliminary consultation on the closures, as well as drop-in events, were organised over the autumn term but the numbers of people attending "were low".

You may also want to watch:

The results of the preliminary consultations will be published later this month.

Guardian Angel and St Anne's are both Roman Catholic schools and located in two different catchments areas - Stepney and Bethnal Green.

For majority of the Guardian Angels children, the travel distance to St Anne's would be longer, the council found.

"The diocese and schools' leadership and the local authority are working together to explore possible options to minimise the potential impact of the travel distance on children," the council said.

The move follows the controversial decision to shut the 300-year-old Raine's Foundation School in Bethnal Green.

The secondary school had about 550 pupils, just over half its capacity, and students were moved to nearby Oaklands.

A petition against the closure saw more than 3,000 signatures and Tower Hamlets was embroiled in a legal fight over the plans.

"The council has a duty of care to ensure children in its schools are able to receive a high quality education with access to a full curriculum," Ms Jones' report states.

"A school with a declining roll will be challenged to do this effectively because of inevitable financial pressures from reduced funding."


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the East London Advertiser. Click the link in the yellow box below for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years, through good times and bad, serving as your advocate and trusted source of local information. Our industry is facing testing times, which is why I’m asking for your support. Every single contribution will help us continue to produce award-winning local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Thank you.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the East London Advertiser