Catholic schools in Tower Hamlets have warned of a drop in new students after Brexit, with student numbers falling for the first time in decades.
They say that the fall in admission applications of students is due to three key factors: the introduction of Airbnbs in Central London as they are pushing out families, the 50 per cent faith cap introduced by the government in 2010 which rules that half of a school’s admissions must not be faith based, and third, that Brexit has meant that fewer families come from abroad to enrol their children in their schools.
Jason Morrison, who oversees 208 Catholic schools throughout the country, said: “The challenges facing Catholic education in London have been quite acute in the last three years”.
The Guardian Angels Primary School of Tower Hamlets is one of the nine Catholic schools in Tower Hamlets that is currently facing a drop in their yearly intake. A spokesperson from the school said: “It’s a challenge. While we are facing a fall in the number of students, we want to ensure we can still offer the same quality of education to our pupils.”
“We [Catholic schools] are very dependent, historically, on families from Eastern Europe. Because of the decision that took place three years ago to leave the European Union, Catholic families decided overnight not to bring their children to go to school over here” said Morrison.
Morrison also pointed the finger at growing Airbnb rentals in the borough. He said a report conducted in Camden showed that 400 Airbnb’s had opened up within one mile of a local Catholic school within the last 18 months, pushing out families that can’t afford the competitive, rising rent.
“The introduction of Airbnbs has taken potential homes from families that could’ve lived in the area. I suspect that Tower Hamlets faces a similar problem” Morrison added.