Christian group opens new school in north Lancashire

The Westmorland Gazette: FREE SCHOOL BID: Head teacher Chris Ainsworth and deputy head Victoria Morley at the new Hornby Park School on Monday FREE SCHOOL BID: Head teacher Chris Ainsworth and deputy head Victoria Morley at the new Hornby Park School on Monday

A NEW school opened by a Christian organisation in Hornby is set to be the first 'free school' in the region.

Hornby Park School opened on Monday on the former site of Hornby High and is run by The Brethren, a Christian organisation whose members dedicate their lives to the teachings of the Bible.

The school is currently an independent school but head teacher Chris Ainsworth hopes to re-apply for free school status.

This will allow it to receive funding from the Government while remaining outside local authority control.

Mr Ainsworth said: “We have the capacity to cater for a least 150 pupils and we probably could squeeze some more in after that.

"We outgrew our last building. We expect to keep expanding considerably in the next year, so I think we will qualify."

The school failed an earlier application to become a free school because it could not provide all the information the Government required.

However, Mr Ainsworth is confident the establishment will have a stronger application this time round.

If the bid is successful the school could convert in 2012.

It would join the Maharishi School in Ormskirk as the only free schools in the North West.

“Everyone is welcome to study here as long as they respect the school's ethos,” said Mr Ainsworth.

"It's just like any other Roman Catholic school or Jewish school.

"We just ask people respect our ways of running things."

The new school term started last week with 60 pupils aged between seven and 18 – all of whom have moved from the Brethren’s former school in Leyland.

However, the site can cater for more than double that number.

The school will be teaching 100 per cent of the national curriculum with only one religious education class every two weeks.

School meals and internet access are also on offer to pupils.

The Brethren bought the site from Lancashire County Council earlier this year following the closure of Hornby High in 2009 due to falling pupil numbers.

Comments (8)

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11:21pm Thu 15 Sep 11

claughton says...

The Exclusive Brethren don't eat or drink with other people, so any non-Brethren students who attend this school and avail themselves of the school meals mentioned in the article will have to eat and drink in splendid isolation! So it's NOT "just like any other Roman Catholic school or Jewish school".
And to say that they "dedicate their lives to the teachings of the Bible" really is a bad joke!
The Exclusive Brethren don't eat or drink with other people, so any non-Brethren students who attend this school and avail themselves of the school meals mentioned in the article will have to eat and drink in splendid isolation! So it's NOT "just like any other Roman Catholic school or Jewish school". And to say that they "dedicate their lives to the teachings of the Bible" really is a bad joke! claughton
  • Score: 0

11:34pm Thu 15 Sep 11

claughton says...

I made that last comment because Jesus Christ himself had no problem with eating and drinking with all sorts of people !
I made that last comment because Jesus Christ himself had no problem with eating and drinking with all sorts of people ! claughton
  • Score: -1

5:43pm Fri 16 Sep 11

Ribbleton says...

Very interested in your comments Claughton.

From what you say it would appear that this school is not, as the article might lead one to believe, being run by the evangelical Christian Brethren who have welcoming Gospel Halls and Evangelical Churches throughout this area and offer hospitality to strangers but by a vastly different group – the “Hales Exclusive Brethren” (HEB).

If this is so, then I have dozens of questions I’d like answers to including quite a few around the claims they are reported to have made regarding non brethren students being welcome to study in the school.

In order to be able to respect the school’s way of doing things would these non brethren really have to agree not to become friends with, eat with or in any other way associate/socialise with the HEB young folk? Some welcome that!

Maybe someone from the school can comment.
Very interested in your comments Claughton. From what you say it would appear that this school is not, as the article might lead one to believe, being run by the evangelical Christian Brethren who have welcoming Gospel Halls and Evangelical Churches throughout this area and offer hospitality to strangers but by a vastly different group – the “Hales Exclusive Brethren” (HEB). If this is so, then I have dozens of questions I’d like answers to including quite a few around the claims they are reported to have made regarding non brethren students being welcome to study in the school. In order to be able to respect the school’s way of doing things would these non brethren really have to agree not to become friends with, eat with or in any other way associate/socialise with the HEB young folk? Some welcome that! Maybe someone from the school can comment. Ribbleton
  • Score: 0

10:10pm Fri 16 Sep 11

Roysyboy says...

There SHOULD be a complete separation of church and state. There should be no religious schools at all. Religious schools teach unscientific mumbo-jumbo. Better that children should be taught in school the realities of the universe and leave religious nonsense to Sunday schools and the like.
There SHOULD be a complete separation of church and state. There should be no religious schools at all. Religious schools teach unscientific mumbo-jumbo. Better that children should be taught in school the realities of the universe and leave religious nonsense to Sunday schools and the like. Roysyboy
  • Score: 0

8:43am Sat 17 Sep 11

zaney5 says...

Sounds like a load of religious brainwashing to me. Roysboy is right, keep school and religion apart.
Sounds like a load of religious brainwashing to me. Roysboy is right, keep school and religion apart. zaney5
  • Score: 0

10:32am Sat 17 Sep 11

Ribbleton says...

In the interests of fairness, this school claims - presumably truthfully - to teach "100% of the national curriculum with only one religious education class every two weeks". Maybe they will invite leaders from other faiths to contribute to their religious education!

The issues here are surely more to do with funding and integration.

If the education is shown without prejudice to be good and we taxpayers are expected to pay, then anyone whatever their faith or lack of it should be able to attend. The sect should not be allowed to impose its draconian separation rules regarding eating, friendships etc. in the school setting.

If they insist that this separation from non sect members is mandatory, surely they should pay for their own sectarian education and not be allowed to become a free school.
In the interests of fairness, this school claims - presumably truthfully - to teach "100% of the national curriculum with only one religious education class every two weeks". Maybe they will invite leaders from other faiths to contribute to their religious education! The issues here are surely more to do with funding and integration. If the education is shown without prejudice to be good and we taxpayers are expected to pay, then anyone whatever their faith or lack of it should be able to attend. The sect should not be allowed to impose its draconian separation rules regarding eating, friendships etc. in the school setting. If they insist that this separation from non sect members is mandatory, surely they should pay for their own sectarian education and not be allowed to become a free school. Ribbleton
  • Score: 0

7:38pm Sun 18 Sep 11

GrayJumper says...

Live and let live says I. What harm is it REALLY doing anyone!
Live and let live says I. What harm is it REALLY doing anyone! GrayJumper
  • Score: 1

10:57am Mon 19 Sep 11

Ex-Member says...

To find out the truth about the Exclusive Brethren go to www.peebs.net. Are these the sort of people who should be educating children?
To find out the truth about the Exclusive Brethren go to www.peebs.net. Are these the sort of people who should be educating children? Ex-Member
  • Score: -1

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