In a slightly strange setting for an announcement, ARK have pledged (in the midst of a longer interview
with the Evening Standard) that they will include Falconbrook Primary school in Wandsworth as a feeder school for the Bolingbroke Academy that they will sponsor.
This is after extensive campaigning by several local groups who were extremely upset that this school has been excluded from being a feeder despite being slightly closer to the school than one of the schools that was included (see previous discussion here
In another interesting twist of free school governance, the article says:
'Does that mean Falconbrook will now be added to the official list of feeder schools? "Yes," says Marshall. "The consultation process with the initiating parent group and the council ends in April, and while I don't wish to pre-empt it, ultimately it's up to us as sponsors to decide - and I accept that Falconbrook will become a feeder school."'
So, they are carrying on a consultation process but have ultimately already made the decision anyway... And by the phrase "I accept" he hardly sounds that thrilled but nonetheless, I wouldn't want to argue with any of that in this case as I am so pleased that the local campaigning on this has gone some way to stopping this free school from being the somewhat exclusive enclave that it looked like becoming...
The next part of the article says:
'So Ark would withdraw, then, if one parent group - described in the media as bankers - insisted on excluding Falconbrook? "That depiction is completely unfair," insists Marshall. "Of the 3,000 parents backing the school, only a handful work in the City, and some of those are secretaries.'
He doesn't seem to answer the question about the views of the parent group on this so hopefully Jon de Maria will be along shortly to give the plan to include Falconbrook his endorsement.