WLFS Primary School - 2FE Entry at Cambridge Grove

Tracy Hannigan's picture
I found this Summary of Open Decisions indicating that WLFS has proposed to expand to be an all age school.

I do not recall seeing this school in Nick Gibb's recent response statement listing pending free schools so wonder if it is within the umbrella of the current free school agreement with WLFS (Secondary).

I specifically am wondering what the admissions criteria are going to be.
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Allan Beavis's picture
Fri, 23/12/2011 - 19:22


The Link to the summary doesn't work! I wonder if you could re-post with the correct link?

Tracy Hannigan's picture
Fri, 23/12/2011 - 20:41

Not sure why it didn't work: http://democracy.lbhf.gov.uk/documents/s14742/Item%2011%20-%20CMD%20Summ...

West London Free School has requested to extend their provision to
include primary school education on the Cambridge Grove site from
September 2013.

Recommendation approved by the Cabinet Members on: 19 December 2011

That the Cabinet Member for Children’s Services endorses the West
London Free School’s proposal to expand to become an all-age
school and develop a two form entry primary school (as part of that

Ward: Hammersmith Broadway

Janet Downs's picture
Sat, 24/12/2011 - 10:52

According to DfE guidelines "Where individual academies make a request to the Secretary of State to expand their pupil numbers and/or age range, this will only be done following local consultation. The decision taken will be informed by the views of the LA, as the commissioner of pupil places."

Free schools are, of course, academies, so the questions that arise from the extension of the age range at WLFS are these:

1 Has a request been made to the Secretary of State to extend the age range?
2 What form did the local consultation take, if any?
3 Was there a provision in the WLFS funding agreement to extend the age range without consultation?
4 If so, isn't it about time that the WLFS funding agreement was published? Then readers can discover whether the funding agreement was for an all-age school or just a secondary school with sixth-form. Readers can also discover the answer to a question raised on another thread: is there provision in the Annex to the funding agreement for children of the founders to have priority?


Ian Taylor's picture
Mon, 26/12/2011 - 12:15

This is what I wrote on this site on 28/7/11 following a tweet on Twitter by Toby Young. I will let you decide if my forecast is coming true. How do we have an Education Secretary that does not uphold his own laws? Come on Labour, it’s an open goal. No wonder Ed Miliband is behind both Cameron and even Clegg in today’s poll.


When asked on Twitter today, why he had started with setting up West London Free School as a Secondary School, Toby Young said:

“Toby Young @pjpcfp The answer’s too long for 140 characters, but we intend to set up a 2FE primary in due course”.

Can you work out how the admissions process is going to evolve? Here is my suggestion.
You ask parents of the WLFS Primary School to make “voluntary” contributions of £35 per month. Perhaps increase the voluntary fee a little. Keep pushing for endowments from parents. Make the primary kids wear expensive blasers. After a few years this will weed out those parents who cannot pay.

For the WLFS Secondary School you change the admissions policy to say that preference will be given to those who attend the WLFS Primary School. That should encourage the wealthy to get their children into the primary school. The profile of the secondary school becomes much more like a private school. This has been the objective all along: to have a private school that the state pays for.

If you think this is fanciful, just look at Langley Hall Primary Academy where admission preference is given to children who attend the attached private nursery at a cost of £1000+ per month http://bit.ly/fg1wOp The Academy and the private nursery are run by a family business. Nice earner!

Yes this charging for admission seems illegal, but Mr Gove has accepted this admission policy at Langley Hall. What’s a bit of law bending between friends? Is it ethical? Who cares. The Head of WLFS has appointed his own wife as Head of PE. Who cares about moral standards? Surely teaching children does not involve morals does it? As long as the kids get a bit of Latin, and don’t have to mix with oiks, then who is going to complain? There will be plenty of spare school places left for those that can’t pay to go to WLFS. Nick Gibb MP will claim that the teacher pupil ratio has been improved for the poor kids, and overall spending has gone up. Everyone is happy. All those wanting a cheap state subsidised private school say that Toby Young is marvellous.

Final thought. Everyone in power said Rupert Murdoch and his family business were marvellous, and the Guardian was a paper read by dumb lefty slimebags.

Toby Young's picture
Tue, 27/12/2011 - 23:05

Nice try Ian, but 23.5% of the children currently at the WLFS are on free school meals. What percentage of the children at your school are on free school meals?

Rosie Fergusson's picture
Tue, 10/01/2012 - 13:20

A truly commendable statistic..I had got the impression it was under wraps . the WLFS should be shouting it from the rooftops. I understand why the WLFS was set up [ well at least I think I do - it was to prove a state school on state funding could be as "good" and deliver the same advantages as a private one ( yah boo sucks Latymers) ].

I also do not begrudge new schools taking their share of the annual per pupil funding ; I also understand that private school parents effectively pay twice for education via tax and fees .
But money is money and there's not much of it about ; the fact I struggle with regarding new free schools is that the Government is providing huge one-off expenditure to fund the capital infrastructure required for each Free School , money that should be used to improve the existing schools.

Each free school built/converted is money taken directly off the capital and operational funding for existing schools. We all want the best for our kids where we differ is whether , in austerity it's OK to that the best for our kids is at the expense of everyone elses.

Jake's picture
Tue, 10/01/2012 - 13:38

Its not as black and white as that Rosie. There is a crushing 'basic need' shortage over the next few years that means new schools must be built - initially in the primary school sector where demand will be greatest. Existing state primary schools cannot solely expand using bulge classes or the like to deal with the full extent of the pupil place shortfall. So all this requires capital of course and under this government new schools basically equate to free schools and/or academies. But the two issues are not mutually exclusive. The DfE is also looking at R&M programmes to existing schools in most need of repair through various capital programmes such as the PSB model. Of course as you say there is not enough money around but that does not mean its an 'either/or' type equation between new free schools and repairing the exisitng state school estate. Both need attention. So the government has to address both repair to existing state schools and provide new school places. And with little money due to having bailed out the bankers its a very difficult task. You can find out more about the 2011/12 R&M capital programmes via the link here to the PFS website:


Rosie Fergusson's picture
Tue, 10/01/2012 - 15:08

thanks Jake..will swot up some more

Jake's picture
Tue, 10/01/2012 - 17:09

Rosie - this article has just gone up on the BBC website this afternoon. It puts my comments above in context and will enable you to swot up some more!


Toby Young's picture
Tue, 27/12/2011 - 23:22

Janet, the WLFS is not applying to expand its pupil numbers and/or age range, so points 1 - 4 are non sequiturs. The Academy Trust will be submitting a proposal to the DfE in February of next year to set up a free primary school in 2013. I'm happy to say we're doing this with the blessing of the local authority – which is a good thing, surely? – but it won't become a reality without the formal approval of the Secretary of State for Education and we won't know whether that's been granted until May/June of next year. Once it has been approved, we're then under a statutory obligation to carry out a consultation – which, of course, we'll do – and the Secretary of State won't decide whether to sign a Funding Agreement with the school until he's had an opportunity to digest the responses to that consultation.

Rest assured that we intend to publish the WLFS's Funding Agreement in due course. While there's nothing to stop us publishing it right now, we've decided to wait until all the first 24 free school are ready to publish theirs. We don't want to pressurise them into doing something not all of them are ready to do by publishing ours now.

Janet Downs's picture
Wed, 28/12/2011 - 09:22

Toby - I'm puzzled. The statement from the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham (LBHF) - reproduced above in Tracy's post - said WLFS wanted to extend its provision and become an "all-age school". I find it difficult to understand how a secondary school can become an all-age school without (a) expanding its pupil numbers and (b) extending its age range. Are you saying that LBHF has got it wrong?

You say that you won't carry out a full consultation until after the Secretary of State (SoS) has given approval, but the DfE guidelines - reproduced in my post above - say that any school making a request to the SoS to expand pupil numbers and/or age range can only do so after local consultation. Are the DfE guidelines incorrect?

I am pleased to hear that you will publish the WLFS's Funding Agreement "in due course". However, if all the first 24 free schools decide to wait until all our ready to publish then this might be a long time. Some of the new free schools have published their agreements already. Presumably their desire to be transparent has trumped any concerns about possible pressure on other free schools to make their agreements public.

Fiona Millar's picture
Wed, 28/12/2011 - 14:48

Several of the first 24 free schools have published their funding agreements so there is no reason why the rest shouldn't follow their example.

Janet Lallysmith's picture
Thu, 29/12/2011 - 21:52

Your last sentence in no way constitutes a reasonable reason not to publish your funding agreement.

Rosie Fergusson's picture
Tue, 10/01/2012 - 12:58

Aah go on Toby..don't be a spoilsport...

Fact is that the Gov doesn't want the Free Schools to publish their agreements .
Just before Xmas Mr GIbb, schools minister and ace tax accountant , answering a parliamentary written question on 20th Dec , admitted to the allowance of an admission policy change in the funding agreement for the Canary Wharf Free School ( wasn't prepared to say what it was though! - we'll have to guess hmmm - could it be "no riff-raff?????" )

C'mon Toby, be a maverick , you've worked really hard on making your school process transparent ...publish it now and be damned .....as they saying goes "publish it and the others will follow".

There is the possibility Boris and Mike might take offence and stop phoning--so basically its win-win!!!

Rosie Fergusson's picture
Tue, 10/01/2012 - 13:01

I interpret it as the WLFS trust will consider itself to have two separate schools , one primary , one secondary . As such presumably attendance at the prep....er sorry I mean Primary... won't guarantee a place at the secondary- soooo actually a fairer school structure than expansion of the WLFS secondary across the age range.... surely ???

Toby Young's picture
Tue, 10/01/2012 - 13:09

Rosie, We'll publish our Funding Agreement in due course. You may be surprised to learn that "no riff-raff" isn't part of the admissions arrangements of Canary Wharf College which you can see here:


Tracy Hannigan's picture
Tue, 10/01/2012 - 13:13

It is no guarantee - unless there is a preemptive clause in the WLFS funding agreement that allows a feeder system from a future primary set by the same trust... But by virtue of having the admissions as they are in the 'upper school' and as it is exactly twice the size of the primary, it will be the rare child at the 'lower school' that doesn't get to WLFS.

Toby Young's picture
Tue, 10/01/2012 - 13:18

We're going to submit an application to set up the WLFS primary as a new free school then, assuming it's approved, join the primary and secondary schools together to create an all-through school. As such, pupils at the primary will automatically qualify for places at the secondary. We haven't yet decided what the admissions policy for the primary will be and nor would it be appropriate to do so at this stage. If our proposal is approved, we'll consult the local authority and the local schools before drawing up our admissions arrangements.

Rosie Fergusson's picture
Tue, 10/01/2012 - 15:13

aaah thinking about it a bit more ...a guaranteed place in senior school due to place in primary school might (????) promote social inclusion from the point that 11 year old peer pressure is reduced...i.e. a parent chooses a school at 5 but a child has an opinion at 11 and can veto attending WLFS if his mates are off somewhere else.

Janet Lallysmith's picture
Wed, 28/12/2011 - 17:51

That's almost half the average in H & F, Toby, and I don't understand the relevance of asking about Ian Taylor's FSM %.

Again, remind us why you're still refusing to publish WLFS's funding agreement?

Ben Taylor's picture
Thu, 29/12/2011 - 01:46

Marigold I can't agree with your reporting of FSM data. A source dated Aug 2011 reports 25.4%.

Go to:


Use this link, where clicking on 'EXCEL' is a download link to an excel spreadsheet;

"Additional informationEXCEL (Additional information on free school meal take-up at local authority level, added 16 August 2011)"

In the spreadsheet find H + F at row 113, read across to column J, which is headed "Percentage taking free school meals", subheading of "State-funded secondary schools (1)(3)".

Figure is 25.4%. So WLFS is only slightly under average for H + F.

To really do this right, I think we would need the disclosure of the actual student origins within London boroughs, and then we would have to weight accordingly, since WLFS also potentially admits from other boroughs (up to five miles from the H + F town hall). Glancing at a map that looks like quite a few London boroughs could be included.

Toby Young's picture
Thu, 29/12/2011 - 10:49

Ian Taylor is accusing the governors of the West London Free School of operating a socially selective admissions policy. It seems fair, therefore, to ask how socially inclusive his school is. Why no reply, Ian? Is it because your school actually has a lower percentage of children on FSM than ours?

Janet Lallysmith's picture
Thu, 29/12/2011 - 16:58

I don't know who Ian Taylor is, but the first thing I noticed when I looked at the WLFS website was what a clear message the all white governing body in a ethnically diverse area of inner London is sending out about who are the pupils that the school wants.

And why are you ignoring the repeated requests to publish your school's funding agreement, Toby? Not because there's something dodgy going on, I trust.

Toby Young's picture
Thu, 29/12/2011 - 10:36

The figure you're citing is for taxpayer-funded primary and secondary schools in LBHF, Marigold. Hence the discrepancy.

Allan Beavis's picture
Thu, 29/12/2011 - 10:41

Publish the Funding Agreement. That is the issue here Toby. It would help if you didn't detract attention away from it by inflating a side issue about FSM.

A guest's picture
Wed, 28/12/2011 - 19:36

How good a measure is FSM for determining how well a child may achieve? I do not understanding why if the WLFS was going to be a 'grammar school for all' at the very least children were not banded and then drawn by lottery from each band. This would have produced a wide range of abilities and a truer test of whether every child can thrive with an academic curriculum.

Janet Lallysmith's picture
Wed, 28/12/2011 - 21:00

Unfortunately, Guest, there is a strong correlation between FSM and lower educational achievement. Toby is trying to demonstrate that a significant proportion of children at WLFS are in receipt of FSM, but fails to put the figure in context, ie that it is not truly representative of the area.

Jake's picture
Thu, 29/12/2011 - 01:15

The link here shows that the average for H&F is 23.2% for pupils taking FSM in maintained schools - which is actually less than the FSM % at WLFS. But you say that the WLFS is not "truly representative of the area" and Toby's figure is "almost half the average in H&F". More Luddite Schools Network spin or has the GLA got its figures wrong?


Janet Lallysmith's picture
Thu, 29/12/2011 - 07:12

Your link is over 2 years out of date. Possibly the figures I used are Luddite spin - in October 2011, the H & F LibDems stated that 39% of children in H & F schools are on FSM.


Toby Young's picture
Thu, 29/12/2011 - 10:51

Again, you're using the figure for taxpayer-funded primary and secondary schools in LBHF. The fair comparison is with taxpayer-funded secondary schools. According to the latest data made available by LBHF, 28% of children at the borough's taxpayer-funded secondary schools in the academic year 2011-2012 are on FSM. So we're not far off.

Jake's picture
Thu, 29/12/2011 - 11:43

When in a hole stop digging Ms Doyle. You accussed the WLFS of not putting their FSM in context but in fact you were wrong - perhaps you should have the good grace to apologise? This is typical of the Luddite spin on this site and similar to a recent similar attempt to smear the WLFS on the basis of 'average house prices' in the area - another incorrect 'factual' claim that got shown up for the nonsense it was.

Jake's picture
Fri, 30/12/2011 - 00:48

Good grief. Are you seriously offering up the 'schoolduggery' blog as an objective source of data? A random blogger who opposes free schools unilaterally decides how to define FSM profiles and you take that as reliable evidence? Brilliant.

Allan Beavis's picture
Thu, 29/12/2011 - 10:39

Sadly typical that the so-called School "Reformers" jump up with outdated and badly researched evidence about FSM in a risible attempt to draw attention away from the spotlight put on WLFS and the Free School policy by Tracy Hannigan, Janet Downs and Ian Taylor.

Hijacking the argument away from WLFS' Funding Agreement by turning it into an argument about FSM in H&F and WLFS has not detracted from the very valid and uncomfortable points made by Tracy and Ian and has only exposed further the incompetence of the "Reformers" to conceal the real intent of the divisive nature of the coalition's schools policy. There is nothing radical about the Tory's segregating and pre-selecting children and society. It is their modus operandi. This conservatism is what is truly Luddite.

There is no excuse for Toby Young not to publish when other Free Schools have. What is of particular interest is if there are amendments in Annexe B and if it is the schools intent to draw it secondary schools pupils from its proposed primary school.

Toby Young's picture
Thu, 29/12/2011 - 10:55

Allan, Given how keen you are on transparency, can you disclose what percentage of the children at your school are on FSM? How does that stack up against the borough average? And can you also tell us what percentage of the children on FSM at your school got five or more GCSEs at grade C or above including Maths and English this year? Given your passionate opposition to education reform, it would be good to know how adequately your own, unreformed school is serving the poorest pupils in your area. Thanks in advance.

Toby Young's picture
Thu, 29/12/2011 - 10:56

Can you rewrite this sentence Allan, correcting the mistakes? As it stands, the grammar and spelling is so poor it's impossible to grasp your point. Thanks.

"What is of particular interest is if there are amendments in Annexe B and if it is the schools intent to draw it secondary schools pupils from its proposed primary school."

Allan Beavis's picture
Thu, 29/12/2011 - 11:31

Is this all you can do Toby? You are now reduced to criticising a sentence written in haste, pretending you don't understand it, so that you can score a cheap, weasel point and clumsily sidestep the main issue?

I hope some of the pupils and parents at WLFS read what you write here so that at least they can see how mean spirited and spiteful their Chair of Governors is. Not exactly the best way for a Chair to conduct himself is it? Almost as bad, in a school leader, to label people "dunces". Do you label children at your school "dunces" Toby?

Will you please tell us why you are not publishing the Funding Agreement?

Janet Downs's picture
Thu, 29/12/2011 - 11:38

Toby, it does not follow that anyone who posts comments on this site is connected to a school. It is possible, as in my case, to be passionate about education but still have no link to any particular school. So asking posters questions about their schools is mere rhetoric.

It also does not follow that if someone is critical of this government's education policies, as I am, that that someone is opposed to education reform. But the way this government is pushing the English education system - towards the involvement of profit-making companies, towards an even more excessive emphasis on raw grades, towards more centralised control (while at the same time claiming the opposite), and away from the careful reforms made by other countries over a longer period of time - is not the kind of reform that will benefit all pupils in England.

Allan Beavis's picture
Thu, 29/12/2011 - 11:50

As I said earlier Toby, this is not an argument about FSM but yours and your supporters’ attempts at sidestepping transparency and you still continue to do so. This is about the West London Free School Funding Agreement and why you find it so difficult to publish and reveal. You know where my children are schooled - why don't you look up the school and find out the results for yourself? I recall you looking at the website less than a year ago in order to launch an attack on it which revealed you as more of a "dunce" (your words, not mine...) than you anticipated and opened you up to criticism of (borderline) homophobia. All in the name of "satire" apparently.

My local school is completely inclusive. That means is takes all children from the local area regardless of background. There is no overt or covert selection; there is a wide and inclusive curriculum; our headteacher or chair of governors do not make public statements which can be deemed politically or ethically offputting to a lot of people who might want to apply to the school. The schools has big challenges, serving children from poor backgrounds, children with SEN, children whose first language is not English, as well as the children from wealthier backgrounds. It is a genuinely mixed and fair intake.

I am not going to get drawn into a tit for tat argument about the merits of my local school, which has been radically improved over the past handful of years, especially when your school has been in existence for one term, has no results to speak of but plenty of controversy. It is typical of you that you seek to promote Free Schools by attempting to denigrate community schools. Neither does my school need publicity – it is oversubscribed and it’s Chair and Leadership Team are not addicted to self promotion to justify their existence. Neither is it “unreformed” – far from it - it is integrated into its community and is socially cohesive, not divisive.

I am not opposed to “education reform”. I wholeheartedly support it. The government’s policies are not reforming – they are just importing a system of selection and free-market opportunities from the States, where the policy has failed to raise standards, especially for the poor.

Back to the original post – why won’t you publish the WLFS Funding Agreement?

Janet Downs's picture
Thu, 29/12/2011 - 12:02

Toby - the point of the sentence is clear. It asks about Annex B of the WLFS Funding agreement. In particular, whether there is any clause which presupposes WLFS will expand its age range. If so, would this expansion allow WLFS to change its admission criteria so that it could prioritise pupils from its own primary school?

You have not yet answered my questions above:

1 Has Hammersmith and Fulham Council got it wrong when it said that WLFS wanted to extend its provision and become an “all-age school”?

2 Which comes first when academies wish to extend their age range: approval by the Secretary of State or local consultation? DfE guidelines say it is the latter but your earlier reply suggested that in the case of WLFS it is the former. Which is correct?

Jake's picture
Thu, 29/12/2011 - 11:37

Potts and kettles Butthead. Stick to the day job.

Toby Young's picture
Thu, 29/12/2011 - 11:42

Answer the questions, Allan.

Toby Young's picture
Thu, 29/12/2011 - 11:48

I believe Ian Taylor is a teacher at a secondary school in Devon and Allan Beavis is the Chair of Governors at a secondary school in Lambeth. Could be wrong. Perhaps they could enlighten us. Why should it just be me answering questions, Janet? Seems a little one-sided.

Jake's picture
Thu, 29/12/2011 - 12:02

The reality is Janet that thankfully you and the other left wing Luddites on this site are in a very small minority indeed. Most people in the country support Gove and recognise the need for reform. Some of the tough decisions Gove has had to make are not driven by an over zealous right wing ideology but by a simple lack of money - in no small part caused by the previous Labour government on whose watch this financial meltdown occured. As far as I can see, the main suggestion on this site is to be a bit like 'like Finland' but as has been debated ad nauseum (bit of Latin for Toby) that is not possible due to the independent sector in this country. Will Gove's reforms work? Its too early to say of course. But the majority in this country would prefer him to try rather than see many of our pupils suffer in a stagnating system.

Allan Beavis's picture
Thu, 29/12/2011 - 16:07

Toby -

You might be interested in this article about Homophobia in schools http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/dec/29/homophobia-school-st.... Would you not agree that homophobia is as unacceptable in schools as calling people "dunces"?

Allan Beavis's picture
Thu, 29/12/2011 - 11:45

Publish the Funding Agreement

Allan Beavis's picture
Thu, 29/12/2011 - 11:54

Whether I am in Lambeth or am Chair of Governors is beside the point.

Why aren't you publishing your Funding Agreement - that is point.

Janet Downs's picture
Thu, 29/12/2011 - 12:08

Toby - your question in partly answered in the post above. Asking such questions about the schools of other posters is rhetoric designed to deflect attention from the main questions - the proposed expansion of WLFS to an all-age school and the non-publication of the funding agreement. The question about the number of FSM pupils gaining five or more GCSE grade C at the schools is particularly irrelevant because it will be five years before WLFS pupils take these exams.

Jake's picture
Thu, 29/12/2011 - 12:13

What exactly Butthead are you expecting to see in these funding agreements that will be so shocking? Enlighten us with your Luddite wisdom about what the publication of these agreements will show! Those published to date have hardly made front page news so while will the WLFS or others but any more different?


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