The Department for Education (DfE) today announced that they have rejected the application for The Holborn School, proposed for the Wren Street site adjacent to Mount Pleasant. The application was prepared by a local parent group campaigning for a secondary school south of the Euston Road for nearly a decade. It is the second application to be rejected by the DfE, who cited a number of reasons for their decision, including ‘value for money’.
For local families, this is a bitter pill to swallow, but the economic rationale makes it harder to stomach when next door the Royal Mail Plc sets to make >£0.5bn by building 681 homes in our neighbourhood. It will always be comparatively expensive to provide a secondary school for central London – where currently there is none and the population is rising at a record rate – but can this be a reason to deny local children an outstanding local school?
It is devastating news for the local community, whose children have long been treated as a convenient ‘reservoir’ to fill empty spaces at under-capacity schools in neighbouring areas. In 2013/14, only 39% of children south of the Euston Road were offered a place at a Camden school. 61% were sent to 29 different schools in 11 different boroughs. Socially and educationally, the consequences are catastrophic. The exceptional standards local children attain by attending the outstanding primary schools in our area are not only lost – they are reversed by the time they reach GCSE.
To find out more, go to The Holborn School campaign website, HERE.