Letter: How will Catholic education work in mixed school?

I THINK the government is worried St Bede’s Catholic Science College will not meet its 2011 target set by the previous government, and rather than put the resources into it to fix it, they would sooner remove the problem.

What they don’t tell you is recent results have risen dramatically and OFSTED reports have praised the school, particularly the one in July 2010.

I believe this is a cost-cutting exercise given it costs more to run smaller schools and Haven High is desperate for further space after the government unfairly scrapped its building programme.

St Bede’s is already benefiting from federation with Haven High so there’s no need for them to take it over. St Bede’s is small and has a family atmosphere and spiritual-based ethos rather than the business-model of trust and academy schools. Religion is not forced down their throats and Catholic schools seek to develop respectful human beings and citizens of the world.

They try to reassure us our children can still benefit from a Catholic ethos at Haven High. So how does this work when all the pupils are intermingled into one school?

You either run it with a Catholic ethos or you don’t, and if you do, what do the existing parents and pupils of Haven High think about this?

I think Haven High just want their hands on extra land and buildings and the Giles Academy’s timely intervention into the debate comes at a time when their head has noticed in this area his school has the lowest per pupil funding and St Bede’s has the highest (for the obvious reason it is a smaller school with more acute needs).

Helen Sheridan-Shinn

St Bede’s parent