Free School threat to local 'good to outstanding' Community schools.

Lucy Knight-Ballard's picture
 5
I have recently become involved in the local struggle to stop Rivendale Free School from opening up next to Addison Primary School in Hammersmith.

The local area is well catered for by local schools including Addison and yet the community was told two weeks ago that the Rivendale Free School would be situated on the site of a current NHS health centre.

Parents, Schools and residents have all been shocked by the announcement that this school is scheduled to open in September, foregoing all the usual processes and surveys required when creating a new community school.

Please support us in our bid to protect our local schools and ensure good local educational provision for our children. The link to our campaign is here.

Thank you
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Comments

Fiona Millar's picture
Sun, 20/02/2011 - 17:07

This story gets more bizarre by the minute - how can the consultation on the school close on the same day as applications for places?
And why wasn't it mentioned in the list of eight schools approved by Mr Gove to open in September?
Has he actually approved it?!

Tracy Hannigan's picture
Sun, 20/02/2011 - 17:59

It is totally ridiculous. They are taking applications during the consultation process.

Interestingly, we have learned from conversations with various officials that there is no way the school could possibly open in September. The building is not even purchased yet. Rivendale hopes to avoid the 'temporary accomodation' issue created in overcrowded schools, but is creating them with its haste and lack of adequate planning! From what I can tell the approval goes to Mr Gove around the 18th of March. The local Education Select Commitee meeting is 21st March. Offers go to parents on 4th April, same day as the LA. Offers are to be accepted by April 15. (But I suppose people can hang onto offers and enter as 'late entrants' which I doubt Rivendale would discourage - thereby destabilising the local schools via last minute changes).

If anyone wants to come to the Consultation meeting on Monday 21st of February, you are more than welcome! It is 6-830 pm at the Masbro Centre 87 Masbro Road London W14 0LR.

Francis Gilbert's picture
Sun, 20/02/2011 - 21:11

The suddeness, the secrecy, the lack of consultation, the total pointlessness of this new school -- when there's a good one yards away -- is breath-taking. A total and utter waste of taxpayer's money! Have you put in any FOI requests? Your website is excellent. I would urge everyone to look at it. The consultation page is good: http://www.parentsallianceforcommunityschools.org/Consultation.html

Lucy Knight-Ballard's picture
Sun, 20/02/2011 - 23:08

The founder and trustee informed us at the consultation meeting that they had phoned some prospective parents ( I can only guess at how he got their numbers). Other local parents with children at school entry age received flyers through their door inviting them to meet with ABC schools, as it was known back in september. Interestingly not all of those who expressed an interest have been invited to apply for a place. Many parents that live locally new nothing about Rivendale at all. Which begs the question, where how they using their 24 K marketing grant and who are they targeting it at?
Awaiting responses to FOI requests. will post all responses on the web site.

Tracy Hannigan's picture
Mon, 21/02/2011 - 23:19

The consultation was interesting. It was quite a free for all the first time around so this time we were instructed to take turns, raise our hands, etc. James Woods, Project Manager of Rivendale announced he has withdrawn the proposal for that location yet is proceeding with the consultation. They stated it was because the building is not available, and there is not a lot of support for the school - when insiders know it is possibly the reverse that has had more impact. They always knew the building was not available in time. It is hard to know for sure what they are playing at because the consultation clearly is linked to the location. Interestingly Ewen made the point that HE hired Woods and that Woods works for HIM (so if Woods pulls out it does not mean Ewen does) - and Vicky Stewart from DfE was hemming and hawing about whether or not the building would be approached again once it was 'available' for use. We have decided to not let up.

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