Finchley Catholic High School
About this Organisation
FCHS is an 11-18 boys’ comprehensive, operating a co-educational Sixth Form. It is a school with 90 years of history, serving the Catholic community of North London and South Hertfordshire as part of the Diocese of Westminster. A new, highly experienced Headteacher was appointed to lead the school from September 2017. The school is very popular with parents, heavily oversubscribed and has a strong reputation within the local community. The Catholic identity of the school is at the very heart of its mission. The spiritual and moral development of our pupils is a particular priority, as is the character and quality of the relationships that permeate our community.
We also place great emphasis on the importance of outreach work and to helping those who are less fortunate than ourselves. It is our faith that helps to define our community. The school is situated in the London Borough of Barnet. As the popularity of the school has grown, the catchment area has shrunk and a growing proportion of the school's population is now drawn from within the authority. For the 2017-2018 academic year 500 applications were received for the 180 places available. In socio-economic terms, Barnet is a relatively prosperous area and this, in turn, is reflected in the school's population. It is also a very cosmopolitan authority, with a diverse cultural and ethnic mix. This too is fully reflected in the profile of our students, many of whom are of non-British heritage; and the percentage of students with an ethnic minority background is significantly above the national average. Despite this, the proportion of students for whom English is not their first language is below national average.
The proportion of students on Free School Meals is significantly below the national average. The overall deprivation indicator for the school is just below the national average for the first time in 3 years. In order to respond to the demand for places, Governors increased the published admissions number to 180 for all year groups from September 2014, reaching full PAN in September 2017. In terms of prior attainment, the academic profile of students is higher than average in each of the year groups 7 – 11. While there are a number of selective schools and some independent schools nearby, the proportion of pupils on entry who have an APS higher than 30 at the end of KS2 is higher than for the national cohort. Likewise, the proportion of students with an APS below 25 is lower than the equivalent national figure. The school has a higher than average proportion of pupils with a statement of Special Educational Needs or EHC plans. When defined more widely, the proportion of students on the SEN register is below the national average.
The sixth form has experienced rapid growth in the last ten years with an average of 300 students registered in two of the last three academic years. To accommodate this growth a new Sixth Form Centre was opened in September 2014. The school has a stable population when measured from the start of KS3 and KS4. This is a pattern that has been very consistent over recent years and one that looks set to continue. There are waiting lists for all year groups and places that become available are quickly reallocated .
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