RISC Will Not Appeal JR Decision

The Richmond Inclusive Schools Campaign (RISC) has announced that it will not appeal against the recent judicial review decision which declared El Brute’s approval of a Voluntary Aided Catholic School to be lawful. In a press release the RISC said that although there were ‘a number of aspects’ open to challenge, any appeal would not be practical on the grounds of costs and because it would only be heard after the school had offered places to children for 2013 admissions. The RISC statement says, ‘We have no desire to risk that level of uncertainty for parents and children, and it is unlikely that, even if we won an appeal, a judge would stop the schools going ahead at that stage’.

In acknowledging the widespread opposition to the setting up of Voluntary Aided school RISC spokesperson Jeremy Rodell said: ‘I know that’s a major disappointment for a lot of local people, who believe it’s simply wrong. But there’s nothing more we can do – the forces against us were simply too powerful. But RISC will not go away. There will be an announcement about our future activities shortly’.

It’s been contentious, divisive and hotly debated issue but one thing we will say for the RISC is that their campaign has reflected the views of many people across the Borough with different beliefs, interests and backgrounds. Furthermore, RISC spokesman/leader Jeremy Rodell has conducted himself in a dignified manner throughout despite hostile and sometimes personal attacks from some(one) who seemed to think the opposition to the plan was being fomented by out-of-borough agitators hijacking the campaign. And of course the irony is that such misguided comments make the accuser rather than the accused seem to be the one who’s out of touch with local opinion. Local politics really is a funny old world.

Given the RISC’s statement, perhaps it’s not game over for them just yet but in the meantime it sounds as if we might get that ‘period of silence’ demanded by Council Leader, Lord True. Silence!

* RISC Statement
* High Court Ruling
* Richmond Council (home page)


Filed under Council, Local Issues & News, Schools

4 responses to “RISC Will Not Appeal JR Decision

  1. Vicky Phillips

    I don’t think there are going to be school places for LB Richmond non-Catholic children in neighbouring boroughs as they are having to expand their primary schools even more. I think there will just be masses of parents, especially of boys in the Twickenham and Fulwell area, pretending to be Catholic to get them into the Catholic school. Catholic tutoring could be a lucrative business locally in the years to come!

  2. odtaa

    So Lord True will be quite happy that in 10 years time that many non-Catholic children, at the newly expanded primary schools throughout the borough, will have to go to secondary schools outside the borough.

    Whereas Catholic children, living outside the borough, will be coming into the new school in their droves.

    • George

      I expect he’ll be happy with the legacy of a school.
      There is a plan to look at putting a new school on the Richmond College site in Twickenham. This would have an open admissions policy and would presumably be an academy or free school as recommended by the govt. I think we can assume it will also be open to the children of catholic parents in addition to ‘their own’ new school.

  3. Human Rights Blog, written by members of 1 Crown Office Row barristers’ chambers, offers this handy summary of the JR:

    The Court’s reasoning: Sales J found that the Council had made clear its provisional view that there was not a current need for a new state school in its area and its provisional view that introduction of the Catholic schools proposed by the Diocese would be beneficial, in that they would increase diversity of school provision. Section 6A of the Education Act, which would have triggered an obligation to consider proposals for an Academy, was therefore not engaged as no general need had been identified. The judge did not agree with the claimants’ case that

    whenever a local authority considers that it might be beneficial for there to be additional educational provision in the form of establishing a new school in its area, it must be taken to think that there is a “need” to establish a new school, in the sense in which that term is used in section 6A.

    In short, he did not accept the claimants’ argument that the duty in section 6A trumps any other procedure under Part 2 of the 2006 Act. There was no clear language in the Act to suggest that Parliament had intended that provision to operate to disapply the obligation of a local authority to consider other proposals (for schools apart from Academies) on their merits.

    As for the second part of the challenge, the attack on the lack of reasons in the consultation paper, there was no further mileage for the claimants. The judge did not agree that there was anything misleading in the Council’s paper. In particular, it contained no express statement that the Council considered that there was a current “need” (in the technical section 6A sense) for new schools to be established on the Site; nor was there any implied representation to that effect.