Student at Cardinal Newman Catholic School, Hove has her asylum claim refused

A student from Cardinal Newman Catholic School (CNCS) in Hove has had her application for asylum refused by the UK Government. The student, called Ann, has been studying at the school for 4 years having arrived in the UK seeking safety and sanctuary with her sister and mother in 2019.

Ann is from a Coptic Christian family; her father and eldest sister were arrested in Sudan for their involvement in peaceful protests. The family have been unable to contact the father since this time and, if he remains alive, believe he may be imprisoned at an unknown location.

Writing in her weekly letter to parents and carers on Friday 10 March, Cardinal Newman’s Principal, Claire Jarman said:

“One of our Newman Family, a year 11 student from Sudan, has just heard that her application for asylum has been declined and there is a very real possibility she and her mother and older sister will be deported…

“[Ann] joined us in year 9, and quickly became an integral part of our community… the family face the very real threat of being deported and we want to help keep them here and safe. At least long enough for [Ann] to complete her education. We will be doing all we can to support [her].”

Having initially settled in Brighton, the family were then unexpectedly re-housed in East London with Ann undertaking a challenging 3-hour daily commute between London and Hove. Despite this, Ann’s attendance at CNCS has remained high with teaching staff keen to point out how hardworking and diligent Ann is.

A representative from the Diocesan Education Service said:

“Diocesan schools are places of prayer, nurture and learning where every student is valued in line with the principles of Catholic Social Teaching. The Diocese of Arundel & Brighton does not have specific details of Ann’s case but understands the significant contribution she has made to Cardinal Newman Catholic School, and the esteem in which she is held by students and staff across the CNCS community. Year 11 is a pivotal year for students across the country and we hope that Ann is able to sit her GCSEs later this year and continue to flourish.”

The situation is critically time sensitive with the school urging anyone wishing to help to sign the petition launched to raise awareness of Ann’s case and/or write to their local MP.