"You have managed to steadily raise the profile of science in the school and in the wider community over a number of years, and to maintain that during this most difficult of years – a commendable achievement"
PQSM March 2021


The Directors of St Thomas Catholic Academies Trust are seeking views on the development of a SEND Unit at Cardinal Newman School, Luton.  The provision was developed as part of the Local Authority strategy to address High Needs in Luton, and was opened to a small number of students in January 2022 and fully opened in the new building in September 2022.

This consultation is required to confirm the significant change to the school setting.  The Trust and school leaders are planning no change to the provision that is already in place. 

The setting supports students with Autism Spectrum needs and students with Visual Impairment needs.  Students are supported to access high quality education through the specially designated unit and specialist facilities developed and funded by Luton Borough Council.  Developing this provision has ensured more students are able to access a local provision bringing learning and wellbeing benefits to their family.

The provision has places for:

  • 8 students with Autism Spectrum Condition needs
  • 8 students with Visual Impairment needs.

Support for the project:

The provision was developed in partnership with the Local Authority in response to both the local need for provision and pressure on the High Needs block that resulted in too many students accessing provision beyond the local community – and doing so at great cost.  The strategy was developed following consultation by the Local Authority and has the approval of the Local Authority, the Diocese of Northampton, the Local Academy Committee and the Directors of the Trust through the agreements set out through building development.

Impact on other providers:

There is no impact on other local providers.  The provision has been developed in response to a lack of appropriate provision within the local community.  The student numbers within this provision do not form part of the Pupil Admission Number for the school.

Equalities impact assessment:

The provision supports students with specific needs with places determined by need in accordance with legislation around Education and Health Care Plans.  Increasing the education offer to students with disabilities within the local area is a substantial benefit to those students with protected characteristics.

Your views:

Please share your views by responding to our consultation email address at consultation@stcat.co.uk.  The consultation will run for a statutory period of 4 weeks from Wednesday 1 February 2023 to Wednesday 1 March 2023.   An information evening will be held upon request on Thursday 9 February 2023, 5.30 pm to 6.30 pm.   To book a place on that evening please email consultation@stcat.co.uk.

Consultation circulation:

  • Parents of children who attend the school
  • Parents in the area
  • Primary, secondary, AP and special schools and sixth form and FE colleges in the area
  • The Diocese of Northampton
  • There is no impact on admissions and authorities for admissions are not included in this consultation

Closing date of consultation: Midday, Wednesday 1 March 2023 


Proposed extension to the age range of St Margaret of Scotland’s Catholic Primary School

St Margaret of Scotland’s Catholic Primary School and the Directors of the St Thomas Catholic Academies Trust wish to consult on increasing the age-range of the school; extending it to incorporate St Paul’s, previously managed as a privately owned pre-school.

We are now opening consultation with all interested parties to seek their views on changing    the school's age range from 4 - 11 years to 2 - 11 years. Formal consultation will begin on Monday 20th February 2023 at 09.00 and end on Friday 17th March 2023 at 16.00.


St Margaret of Scotland Catholic Primary School in Luton is a founding member of St Thomas Catholic Academy Trust and was graded as a “Good” school by Ofsted in February 2022.


We believe that by increasing the age-range of the school to include all children on the school site, including those currently accommodated in the privately owned pre-school known as St Paul’s, we will:

  • Improve educational standards: All of the administrative functions will be able to run through the main school system freeing up more time for staff in the pre-school to work directly with the children and liaison with Reception staff will be enhanced. As a result, children will benefit from more face to face time with staff and transition arrangements into Reception will be improved.
  • Maintain current staffing arrangements: Early Years statutory staffing ratio requirements have been considered. For 3/4 year olds in Nursery, there will be a teacher with QTS or an adult with Early Years Professional Status or other L6 qualification plus at least 1 x L3 qualified adult. The staff to pupil ratio in the nursery class will be 1:8 and in the pre-school classroom, a ratio of 1:3 for 2 year olds will be made up of 1 x L3 adult and at least half of the remaining work force will hold L2 qualifications. There are no planned changes to current staffing and so no disruption to the children as a consequence of this change.
  • Maintain current Admissions Procedures: We are making no changes to the number of children we propose to admit and no change to the admissions criteria for either the pre-school or the children we welcome into Reception. All children must apply for a place in Reception irrespective of whether they already have a place in pre-school and this will continue to apply.
  • Offer no detriment to other educational institutions within the area: As St Paul's pre-school provision is already operational, there will be no greater or lesser impact on other nurseries, pre-schools or primary schools in the local area when the change to the school roll is made.

The costs involved in making this change to the school roll will be minimal and met through the school and Trust reserve. If the consultation responses are favourable, the change to school roll will come into effect on September 1st, 2023.

Distribution of consultation document

The main purpose of this letter is to engage all stakeholders in the consultation process and to hear their  views. The consultation letter has been published on the websites of St Thomas Catholic Academies Trust, c/o St Joseph’s Catholic High School, Shaggy Calf Lane, Slough, Berkshire, SL2 5HW and St Margaret of Scotland’s Catholic Primary School, Rotheram Avenue, Luton LU1 5PP.

However, in order to ensure that this consultation document should be read as widely as possible, it is also being distributed as follows:

Responding to the consultation

To respond to this consultation, please complete the short survey here: 

St Margaret of Scotland Catholic Primary School Change Survey 

Responses will be shared with the Local Academy Committee, Directors of the St Thomas Catholic Academies Trust and the Regional School’s Commissioner and will be used to inform the decision on the proposed change to the age range.

Yours faithfully,

Debbie Main, Chair of the Local Academy Committee