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Faith school battle

A legal challenge over plans for two new Catholic schools in the London Borough of Richmond is being heard at the High Court.

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'Council was entitled to approve the proposals'

The British Humanist Association and Mr Rodell have based their whole attempt to overthrow a local, democratically-made decision on the basis of one point of legislation.

Throughout this whole process we have taken legal advice and been advised by our own legal advisers that the decision to approve the two sets of proposals for the establishment of schools is fully within the law.

I am pleased that the Department for Education has confirmed its earlier advice that the Council was entitled to approve the proposals.

Every day this legal campaign continues, the Borough will incur legal costs which may not be fully recovered from the claimants.

It is also causing a great deal of uncertainty for a large number of parents across the borough who have already started applying for places for their children at either of the schools, schools which many of them have asked for, for years.

It is high time Mr Rodell showed some appreciation of the worries of those parents.

In the light of this development, he should now tell his national leaders in the BHA to stop using Richmond children as playthings in their ideological campaign to stop church schools.

Every penny spent on lawyers is money lost to the education of all young people in the borough .

The government's intervention has made clear it has had - and still does have - no intention whatsoever of stopping the creation of new faith schools.

Mr Rodell and the BHA should respect the outcome of local democratic debate and send their lawyers home.

– Cllr Lord True, Leader of Richmond Council

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