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Diocese bids to build two new Catholic primary schools in city

Two new Catholic primary schools could be opened in Peterborough, it has been revealed.

The Diocese of East Anglia has announced its intention to submit bids to open schools in East Hampton and Great Haddon.

Under a new bidding round, bids for new free schools – which are run by groups independent of local authorities but are state funded – have to be submitted to the Department for Education by February 1, 2019.

The schools would not be opened until 2022 at the earliest – depending when homes are built on the housing estates.

Helen Bates, assistant director for schools at the diocese, said: “This bidding round represents the first opportunity to build new Catholic schools in East Anglia for many years. Our diocese has some of the severest shortages of Catholic school places in the country and, whilst there are many parts of East Anglia where we would like new schools, they have to be in areas where there is also a general shortage of places.”

Along with the Haddon and Hampton plans, the diocese also said it was planning a bid for a third primary school in Northstowe, near Cambridge.

Mrs Bates said the diocese was working closely with Peterborough City Council and Cambridgeshire County Council on the proposals.

She added: “The Government has been very clear that only a small number of bids will be approved in this round, so we don’t expect to get all three, but we think we do have three very strong bids.”

A spokesperson for Peterborough City Council said: “The bidding process is open to any organisation and as education authority we will work with applicants to offer support.

“As any final decision is made by the Department for Education, it would be inappropriate for us to comment further at this stage.”

Decisions on bids are expected from the Government by the end of March 2019,

For more details visit www.rcdea.org.uk/vaschools

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