Α free Greek Orthodox secondary school has been given government approval to open its doors in September next year, aiming to meet high academic standards while providing the Cypriot community in the UK with a strong Orthodox element within the school. (Find out more about the story at “Britain’s First Greek Orthodox Secondary School Granted Approval“.)
“St Andrew the Apostle is based on the Christian faith and moral principles of the Greek Orthodox church, and we are delighted to be working with the Russell Education Trust (RET) to establish a school with the very highest academic standards,” said the chairman of the Classical Education Trust (CET), Yiannis Pareas.
There are around 300,000 UK citizens of Cypriot descent living in England with the vast majority based in London, but the opportunity for a freely available Greek Orthodox education has long been lacking, so the Greek Cypriot community is longing for the free Orthodox school to open.
For a large proportion of the Greek Cypriot community in Britain, developing a reasonable level of fluency in Greek becomes increasingly difficult for the children and grand-children of the original immigrants.
Pareas acknowledges that and hopes that at some point the school will be able to offer extra Greek classes.
“If it can be stretched to include classes for adults, we should be trying to do that too. It is up to the community and the school governing body if these could be done,” he said. “The priority at the moment is to set up the school — everything else will come with time, patience and determination.”
Pareas said that it took them a couple of years to get the application just right but the enthusiasm from the north London Greek Cypriot community as well as the feedback they received, alongside with RET’s help enabled them to put together a “fantastic application.”
“It will be the hub for the community: there’ll be Greek concerts, inviting people from abroad to talk about Greek culture and tradition… holding of school activities, the whole community will come together because of that,” Pareas said.
To find out more about the school and express an interest for a 2013 entry please visit http://www.standrewtheapostle.org.uk and visit http://www.russelleducationtrust.org.uk/ to find out more about the RET. For more information on free schools visit http://www.education.gov.uk/