Convent opts into state system

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A Catholic girls' school is to become the first private school to opt into the state system under the new government.

Virgo Fidelis Convent School in Croydon, south London, will become a state school in August, and will open its doors to non-fee paying pupils for the first time in September. The school is one of 12 independent schools which made a bid to become state-funded under the Conservative government but whose applications were held up by the general election campaign. One has been turned down and ten more await a decision. Sister Bernadette, headmistress at the convent school, said the school, which was founded 149 years ago by Irish nuns to educate children from the streets and workhouses, would now be better placed than ever to fulfil its mission of serving low-income families.