In February, Richmond Inclusive Schools Campaign (RISC) pointed out to the Council that, under the new Education Act, a council that thinks it needs a new school must first seek proposals for an Academy/Free School, where there is a limit of 50% faith-based admissions. But the Council is continuing to support proposals for a Voluntary Aided Catholic secondary school on the Clifden Road site so that up to 100% of admissions can be faith-based. The Council’s view is that the Act still enables them to do that. The issue will now be decided in a Judicial Review. The case is being brought jointly by RISC and the British Humanist Association (BHA).

Statements on the legal challenge from RISC, the BHA, the Diocese and the Council.

Rosa Curling from RISC/BHA’s solicitors Leigh Day & Co said today: “We are concerned the Council is attempting to avoid its legal obligations in relation to the opening of these two new Catholic schools. The Council appears to be of the view that it can open these new schools without holding a competition or inviting proposals from a range of different providers.

“Despite widespread local opposition, the Council appears to have decided that it can bypass its legal obligations and simply approve the Diocese’s proposals to open two, selective state-funded Catholic schools. We have advised our clients that this is incorrect and the Council’s actions are unlawful.”

– from Christopher J Squire - 12 April 2012