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London church’s free school one of first 16

08 September 2010

by Margaret Holness

ST LUKE’s, Hampstead, in London, has been given the go-ahead to open a free school next September. It will be one of first tranche of 16 free schools to be created under new legislation ap­proved before the summer Parliamentary recess.

Although St Luke’s is the only Anglican school in the group, seven of 16 will have a religious ethos, it is understood. Plans have been ap­proved for two Jewish schools, one Sikh school, one Hindu school, and two schools with a Christian ethos.

St Luke’s expects to open with an intake of 15 pupils in the church hall, which is already used for community activities. The church is in the northern part of the London Borough of Cam­den, where there is a shortage of primary-school places.

Penny Roberts, a qualified teacher and educational psychologist, and a member of the school’s planning group, said this week that a local survey had identified 70 families inter­ested in using the school. The church expected to work closely with Camden council and the London diocese.

The Revd Howard Worsley, dio­cesan director of education, said that the Board of Education had been consulted from the inception of the project. “We are keen to support this initiative that aims to connect Church and society by providing urgently needed school places.”

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