Uncertain future for Redbridge-owned education centre

A headteacher has spoken of the uncertainty which surrounds the future use of an outdoor educational centre, which he described as the “jewel of Redbridge”.

Dr Paul Doherty, head of Trinity Catholic High School in Mornington Road, Woodford Green, said the school would have to review finances following the cut of subsidy to Glasbury House, owned by Redbridge Council.

“Glasbury is an outstanding educational facility,” he said. “I appreciate that there has to be spending cuts. I am very concerned though about how Glasbury trips will be affected.”

Last year 1,500 pupils at Redbridge schools visited the Welsh listed mansion, where they can practice canoeing, rock climbing and take in the scenery. Dr Doherty said that when the 90 per cent subsidy is abolished next year, the school would have to ensure there was no divide between better off families and poorer families being able to send their children on the trips.

“We will have to take a very careful look at how the school can help out and would have to make sure that all pupils are given equal opportunity to attend,” added Dr Doherty.

Figures from Redbridge Council show the cost of sending a student to the centre will rise from �230 to more than �500..

Glasbury House has been owned by Redbridge Council and used as an outdoor activity centre since 1962.

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In a statement a Redbridge Council spokeswoman said: “While we know the centre is very popular. Unfortunately, in the current financial climate, it is no longer possible to continue to subsidise the cost for Redbridge school pupils.

“A report, which will discuss the future of Glasbury House further, is set to go to cabinet later this year.”