Opponents of a new ‘catholic-ethos’ free school on the Brixton campus of Lambeth College will join hands around the site to protest against the plans.
Campaigners will link arms around the entire site, in Brixton Hill, at the event at 5pm on Thursday (March 27) to show their support for a “community asset” and demonstrate their feelings that a new secondary school is “not necessary.”
The site has been sold by the college to the Government for a reported £18million. The plan will see greatly reduced provision for Lambeth College at the site, with a new free school, Trinity Academy, set to open there this September.
A spokesperson for the campaign said: “While the college is needed, the free school is not.
“We have a surplus of secondary school places in Brixton and the Trinity Academy will damage other schools by competing for students and resources. Although the school has a Catholic ethos the local Catholic diocese has said that they do not want it to open as it will impact negatively on local schools.”
The plans have proved divisive in Brixton and Lambeth since they emerged last year.
A Lambeth College spokesman defended the sale, saying the campus was ‘outdated’ and would provide some new facilities in the area, while other courses will be moved to its Clapham or Vauxhall campus.
They said: “The redevelopment of the Brixton Centre would generate sufficient resources and funds for the College to invest in a new, modern, high quality learning environment for our learners that will be ready for September 2015.
“The new Brixton provision will be focused on helping adults into work by providing English, Maths, ESOL and employability courses. This will enhance the College’s already close links with Job Centre Plus and Lambeth Council. The needs of local employers will be met by short courses and apprenticeships run by the College’s Go 2 Work team.”
Campaigners have also produced a radio advert for the protest, below, and have collected more than 1,000 signatures on a petition against the plans.