Becoming Catholic school is 'best thing' for St Andrew's College
"WE ARE committed to providing a quality education for the young people here and those who will join us in the future."
This is the message from the principal of St Andrew's College, in Cleethorpes, as public consultations take place over its transformation into a Catholic school.
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 welcome all students of any religion.
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But if the roll becomes full, pupils from St Joseph's Primary Catholic Voluntary Academy and St Mary's Catholic Primary School will be given priority.
A public consultation session took place at the college to share information about the plan.
Principal Louise Wilson believes that the best thing for the school is to become the St Andrew's Catholic Academy.
She said: "This is absolutely the best thing for St Andrew's.
"It is an exciting opportunity and we have already had lots of positive feedback from our online questionnaire.
"We are genuinely taking people's views into consideration and we are still in the consultation period.
"I am looking forward to continuing to improve on the strong improvements that have already been made in the school in the last year."
Gail Neil, the director of education at the Nottingham Roman Catholic Diocesan Education Service (NRCDES), was in attendance.
"We will welcome anyone who wants to come to this school," she said. "Pupils will get a Christian education environment, but we value all faiths.
"The Diocese of Nottingham has put itself forward as a sponsor because we want to support the staff, the school and the pupils here.
"We see the school moving forward and, in the next few years, becoming outstanding.
"We will assist the mission of making Christ known to all people and also be able to service the local church. St Andrew's is already on a journey of improvement and we want to support that in the future."
The school's governing body already manages the school finances, staff employment and admissions, so an actual conversion to academy status will not be as significant as for a local authority-maintained school.
The Reverend Ian Walker, from New Waltham, was one of the visitors to the consultation.
He said: "I am happy with what has been said, as long as Christian pupils from all faiths get the option to study at St Andrew's."
Another event was being held tonight at St Joseph's Primary School – see your Telegraph for continued coverage.
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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