As I’ve previously reported – as a matter of communal interest – on the proposed closure of Raine’s Secondary school both in Approach and Old Bethnal Green Road, it seems appropriate to give an up-date on developments.
The utmost consideration for us must be quality education for our children. Most schools in Tower Hamlets have achieved good or outstanding Ofsted ratings, a fact we can be proud of. Our Council has always striven to deliver excellence for us.
At this point I would like to mention that my daughter is due to achieve excellent grades in her forthcoming GCSE’s at Raine’s, this is just to show that pupils are capable to excel with educational goals at Raine’s. The current year 11 pupils will be able to complete their GCSE course at Raine’s this year.
There are imminent changes to schools in the borough because demographics have changed. This is largely due to changes in housing policies and education policies and a greater flexibility on school management options, which led to new schools in the area. New developments in the south of the borough like Wapping and around the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park also through new housing developments and schools in those areas.
Whilst I feel the legacy of Henry Raine’s is extremely important for our area as it supports students continually, due to falling pupil numbers, the current Raine’s Foundation school seems unsustainable. However all former and current pupils of Raine’s Foundation school can apply to benefit from a bursary upon starting university.
School funding from the state is allocated according to the number of pupils in a school. The less pupils there are, the less funding comes in and that effects the number of teachers and general resources a school can afford. Unless there is a sudden up-surge in applications, there seems little scope to continue with Raine’s Foundation school as it is. I would welcome more applicants for school places at Raine’s, which I feel is the only way to keep the school – as it is – open.
Whilst there are problems, due to the lack of interest in Raine’s, I had decided to join the Raine’s / Oaklands Steering group, which was formed to find a solution and enable continued excellent education for our students. Oaklands school is not far from us in Old Bethnal Green Road.
However we do await the outcome of the consultation which cabinet will decide on on 30. October 2019.
I will keep you up-dated on the developments, as the local area is important to us as a community.