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UK News

Green light for first state-funded Catholic primary school in more than a decade

by Ruth Sax

A council has approved the first state-funded Catholic school to be built in England for more than a decade.

Attempts to have Peterborough City Council reconsider its decision to approve a primary faith-school that can operate a fully religiously selective admissions policy have failed. 

Plans for the primary school at the new Hampton Water development in Peterborough were approved on Wednesday night.

The Bishop of East Anglia, Rt Rev Alan Hopes, said: "I am delighted that Peterborough City Council have approved our proposal and that we will soon have a new Catholic school in the city.

"I am very grateful for all the hard work that has gone into this from the diocesan schools team and all others who have been working on this project.

"I know that the parish of St Luke's will also be very happy with the outcome and be filled with gratitude."

The school has been criticised over "discriminatory" selection criteria.

Chair of the campaign group Accord Coalition, the Rev Stephen Terry said: "The decision of Peterborough Council is a worrying backward step for integration, facilitating as it does further religious discrimination and segregation in the school system." 

Jonathan Lewis, of Peterborough City Council, said: "Meeting local need is always the priority."

The government will pay 90 per cent of the estimated £11m-£15m cost, with the city council contributing between £1.1m and £1.5m.

The Hampton Waters Roman Catholic School is set to open in Peterborough in September 2022, to 90 children, growing to accommodate 630 pupils.

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