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Proposal to amalgamate Guardian Angels RC and St Anne's RC Primary Schools

Proposal to amalgamate Guardian Angels and St Anne’s Catholic Primary Schools approved by the Mayor of Tower Hamlets

On 25 March 2020 the Mayor of Tower Hamlets approved the amalgamation of Guardian Angels and St Anne’s Catholic Primary Schoolsvia individual executive decision.

This means that Guardian Angels Catholic Primary School will officially close on 31 August 2020, with the amalgamation of both schools taking effect from 1 September 2020.

The newly amalgamated school will be called St Anne’s and Guardian Angels Catholic Primary School.

The decision notice has been published on the Mayor’s executive decision making webpage.

This decision follows:

  • the initial non-statutory six week consultation which took place from 4 November to 13 December 2019
  • publication of a statutory notice on 5 February 2020
  • The four week statutory consultation period which finished on 5 March 2020.

All feedback received during the consultation period was included in the report considered by the Mayor on 25 March 2020 and informed the final decision.

View the full report and appendices

Appeals process

Although the decision has been made, there is a final appeal process outlined in the Department for Education’s statutory guidance on School Organisation. Rights of appeal apply both to the closure of Guardian Angels Catholic Primary School and the expansion of St. Anne’s Catholic Primary School.

The following organisations can appeal within four weeks of the decision being taken:

  • Diocesan Board of Education of any Church of England Diocese in the relevant area
  • Bishop of any Roman Catholic church in the relevant area
  • Governing Body of each school.

As the decision was taken on 25 March 2020, the deadline for receipt of appeals is midnight, 22 April 2020.

Appeals should be addressed to school.organisation@towerhamlets.gov.uk or by post to:

School Organisation Team
Mulberry Place
5 Clove Crescent
London
E14 2BG

Appeals received by the closing date must be referred to the Office of the Schools Adjudicator (OSA) by the local authority. The OSA would then check that the appeal has.

Background

The local authority has been undertaking a review of primary school places to identify long-term solutions that will reduce the significant number of surplus places in the west of the borough, whilst ensuring that schools remain financially sustainable and able to maintain high quality education. 

St. Anne’s  RC Primary School has been included in the review of primary school places due to a fall in pupil numbers over recent years. Despite this the school’s strong leadership and good financial management ensured that it remained financially stable.

Guardian Angels RC School has also been included in the review as a result of significant changes, including the resignation of the headteacher and Chair of Governors and the school experiencing substantial financial difficulties. The School is currently being supported by the headteacher from St Anne’s since the Spring of 2019.  This arrangement has led the schools to consider establishing a permanent partnership.

The proposal

The local authority, working with the RC Diocese and the governing bodies of St Anne’s and Guardian Angels Schools, is now proposing for both schools to join together to form a single two form entry primary school on the St Anne’s site from September 2020.

The schools’ governing bodies, through a joint steering group, undertook an initial, informal consultation during November and December 2019, which included a series of meetings with parents, pupils and staff. The feedback from this process was positive and this was reported to the Council Cabinet on 29 January. At this meeting the Mayor approved recommendations for the schools to join together and to the issuing of a statutory notice to commence the formal consultation over a period of four weeks until 5 March 2020.

The statutory notice now means that the proposal is being progressed to the next stage. After 5 March, when all responses to the notice have been received, a report will be prepared for Council Cabinet in late March 2020 for a final decision to be taken by the Mayor.

Tell us what you think

The local authority is seeking the views of all interested parties. Any person or organisation may object to, or make comments on the proposal by contacting:

Email

school.organisation@towerhamlets.gov.uk

Post

School Organisation and Place Planning Manager
Pupil Services and School Sufficiency
Tower Hamlets Children’s and Culture
Town Hall
Mulberry Place
5 Clove Crescent
E14 5BG

Please note that the deadline for receipt of comments is 5 March 2020 at midnight.

The process to amalgamate Guardian Angels and St Anne’s Primary Schools will involve six steps:

Step one

Informal consultation (November - December 2019)

On the proposal to amalgamate Guardian Angels and St Anne’s Primary Schools.

Step two

Decision (January 2020)

The consultation will inform the decision by the Mayor in Cabinet in January 2020 on whether to issue a statutory notice or not.

Step three

Publication* (February 2020)

If the decision is taken to issue a statutory notice this will be published in early February 2020 on the council’s consultation web page and statutory stakeholders will be notified within a week of the date of publication.

Step four

Representation* (February – Mar 2020)

A four week statutory consultation period will commence from the date of publication of the statutory notice. This is a chance for further responses to the proposal in the statutory notice to be put forward by all interested parties.

Guardian Angels and St Anne's statutory consultation responses

Step five

Decision* (March/April 2020)

To be taken by the Mayor in Cabinet following the four week consultation period. All decisions are subject to the council’s ‘call in‘ process. There is a final appeal process outlined in the Department for Education’s statutory guidance on School Organisation where specified organisations can appeal within four weeks of a decision notice being published by the council.

Step six

Implementation* (April - September 2020)

If the decision is taken to amalgamate Guardian Angels and St Anne’s Primary Schools.

 

*These stages will apply only if the proposal is approved by the council.