IslingtonTribune

The independent London newspaper

Clerkenwell Parochial Primary School set to close

300-year-old school with links to Victorian writer Charles Dickens facing funding crisis

01 December, 2020 — By Helen Chapman

A 300-year-old school in Clerkenwell with links to Victorian novelist Charles Dickens is set to close.

Clerkenwell Parochial Primary in Amwell Street has suffered from funding issues after their pupil numbers plummeted.

As the Tribune previously reported, headteachers warned last year that falling pupil numbers will lead to schools being forced to shut.

Elizabeth Wolverson, chief executive of the LDBS Academies Trust than runs the school said: “It is with great sadness, and enormous regret, that we have informed the school community that the school may have to close next July.

“The simple fact is that there are fewer and fewer children living in inner London and since schools are funded on the basis of the number of children that attend our income is now so depleted that we cannot continue to function.”

The 300-year-old school is where nineteenth century writer Charles Dickens used to read his work for a penny fee.

Clerkenwell Parochial Primary failed an Ofsted inspection in 2016 and headteacher Amanda Szewczyk-Radley took over shortly after.

Ms Wolverson said: “The Headteacher, staff and governors have worked tirelessly with us to keep the school going but we have now reached the point of having no choice. We know we are not alone in this, as there are many other schools in London in a similar position, but the possibility of closing a school that has served its community for more than 300 years is heart breaking.

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