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Consultation on the proposed closure of Virgo Fidelis Convent High School

Why are we doing this?

Virgo Fidelis is a Roman Catholic voluntary-aided secondary school for girls, located in Upper Norwood. It is part of the Archdiocese of Southwark’s education provision in the London Borough of Croydon. The closure is being proposed by the school’s Interim Executive Governing Board (IEGB), with the support of the Archdiocese and Croydon Council.

Consultation responses will be presented to the cabinet member for children, young people and learning and the council’s executive director for children, families and education. Subject to their approval, this consultation will be followed by the publication of the statutory notice, which will start a four-week representation period when any person can send objections or comments to Croydon Council.

The Virgo Fidelis IEGB is proposing the school’s closure because they believe that it is no longer viable – a view which is shared by the Archdiocese and the council. The majority of the buildings are in poor repair and unfit for purpose, with Year 10 pupils having to be taught at an alternative site. In addition, the pupil roll has fallen consistently over the past several years and the school budget has been in deficit. Consequently the school is increasingly unable to deliver the broad and balanced curriculum that would be expected of a modern secondary school.

Earlier this year Virgo Fidelis took the decision, with the support of the Office of the Schools Adjudicator, to suspend admissions for September 2020. Incoming year 7 pupils were offered alternative places at Notre Dame High School, another all-girls Roman Catholic School within the Archdiocese of Southwark.

Should the proposed closure be approved, pupils who are currently in Years 8 and 9 at Virgo Fidelis will be offered alternative places at other schools from September 2021.  Year 10 Virgo Fidelis students are currently being taught on the site of St Mary’s Catholic Secondary School in Croydon, due to the condition of the buildings on the Virgo Fidelis site. Should the closure of Virgo Fidelis be approved, these pupils will be enrolled as St Mary’s pupils for Year 11, remaining in a single-sex location away from the rest of the school. 

Current Year 11 pupils will have completed their GCSE examinations in July 2021, before the proposed closure of the school is August 2021.

Croydon Council and the Archdiocese of Southwark will work together to seek to redeploy all Virgo Fidelis staff, or as many as possible, into alternative positions in other schools locally.

What do we want to know?

As the local education authority, Croydon Council is seeking the views of those that will be directly affected, and anyone with an interest, on the proposal. This consultation, known as a pre-publication consultation, will run from 1 October to 23 October 2020.

If you require the questionnaire in another format, please contact the school place planning team: school.org@croydon.gov.uk.

What we found out

We received 60 responses to this consultation. Please read the outcomes report available at the bottom of this page to read what people told us.

What difference has it made?

The Interim Executive Director, Children, Families & Education and Cabinet Member for Children, Young People & Learning will consider the outcome from the pre-publication consultation. Together, they will decide whether to proceed to the next stage of the process - publication of a statutory notice, starting the formal consultation (representation) period on the proposed closure of Virgo Fidelis Convent Senior School.

Subject to approval, the publication of statutory notice will kick start the four week formal consultation (representation) process on 12 November 2020 and end on 10 Dec 2020.

Contact (for more details)

Ms Denise Bushay
School Place Planning and Organisation Manager

school.org@ croydon.gov.uk
Project start date
01 Oct 2020
Project end date
Report available by
Due 18 January 2021
Who can take part?
All - everyone invited to take part
Topic Area
Education and learning
Location

Document

Pre-publication outcomes report Nov 2020

Document

Consultation document - proposed closure of Virgo Fidelis