Tonight, James Woods from the Rivendale organisation stood alone at a well attended local resident's AGM when announcing Rivendale's failure to meet their target opening date in September 2011 .
An announcement on their website
"The Trustees of Rivendale are sad to announce that Rivendale Primary School will not be opening in September 2011. We worked hard to find suitable and affordable premises for the school in time for a September opening, but this has not been possible."
This ill-planned and ill-advised proposal for a free school may never have got off the ground under the new more demanding conditions for stage 1 of the DfE process. It has been a shocking waste of public money, around £144K, that has been invested in the whole Rivendale proposal process thus far, and yet they maintain that they aim to open next year.
Whose money will they use to pursue this? How will they maintain current staff? Where will they find money to re-market the school next year? Are they required to continue to pay DfE consultancy costs until they open?
On the plus side, this is at least proof that despite all the obstacles put in the way, the strength of feeling in the local community has won through. There will be no primary free school in our immediate area this year.
I hope this gives hope to others currently fighting to protect their local schools.