Education standards at St Andrew's College 'must be restored'
FAITH in the standards of education at St Andrew's College must be restored before it is converted into a Catholic academy.
That was the view of those attending a consultation event at St Mary's Roman Catholic Primary School, one of two primaries which would feed the new academy.
As reported, the college has secured academy sponsorship from the Nottingham Roman Catholic Diocesan Education Service (NRCDES), which would see it move from a joint-faith school to a Catholic one.
If it went ahead, it would still welcome all students of any religion. However, pupils from St Joseph's Primary Catholic Voluntary Academy and St Mary's would be given priority.
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A second public consultation this week took place at St Mary's, in Wellington Street, Grimsby.
Parent Susan Crown said: "We need to know how St Andrew's is going to put the faith back so that parents at the primaries know their children will be getting the best education if they go there.
"My main concern is that any children will be accepted to fill the places, but we want it to be Catholic children."
Matt Cass, a former pupil at St Mary's, raised concerns that St Andrew's may shut because of dwindling pupils numbers.
"The number of pupils at a school affects the amount of money it gets, and numbers at St Andrew's are falling," he said.
"What is the point in doing this if St Andrew's is on a hiding to nowhere and is going to close."
He was told that although pupil numbers are low across North East Lincolnshire's secondary schools at present, by 2015 every place in the borough will be needed.
St Andrew's principal, Louise Wilson, also reassured those present that standards at the college are constantly improving.
She said: "There is room for a family school with a big heart that offers faith-based education for local children.
"There have been significant improvements in standards of teaching and results at St Andrew's over the past year. The number of pupils who achieved five good GCSE grades rose from 65 per cent to 87 per cent, which is a marked improvement.
"We are committed to continuing to improve those standards."
Admission figures at the academy would be 100 per year, compared to 150 at the moment.
Gail Neill, director of education at NRCDES, said: "We believe St Andrew's will become a "good" and then an "outstanding" academy during future Ofsted inspections."
As reported, the consultation period will end on Friday, October 26. For more information, visit www.standrews.ne-lincs .sch.uk.
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