London Oratory School denies a partnership with the West London Free School

Allan Beavis's picture
Toby Young, in his Guardian profile claims that the WLFS will have a formal partnership with the LOS and that, although his "Eton of the State School" will be offering nothing technical – no computing, no design and technology, no domestic science - should any pupils "passionately want to do a subject like DT", they can go for "a period or two" at the Oratory.

Curiously, this is contradicted in the LOS letter to parents dated 8th March 2011  in which the Headmaster acknowledges parents' opposition to this arrangement:-

"The proposed partnership with the West London Free School has caused some concern in the
feedback from parents. The initial idea behind the partnership was to assist a school that was
starting up and which needed support. We have been advised that the partner should be an
existing school rather than a new school and accordingly, we are now looking to identify another
school with which to go into formal partnership".

So is there a partnership or not? It does not appear as if the LOS will be welcoming pupils from WLFS to study technical subjects which WLFS will be excluding from it's curriculum.
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H & F Parent's picture
Thu, 07/04/2011 - 07:27

If anyone feels like contacting the Oratory school, please do. As far as I can see, there has been no public statement on this and no corrections have been made to the Toby Young article.
If it's a mistake, surely the school would want to put the record straight?

olive's picture
Thu, 07/04/2011 - 09:06

I agree with Allan Beavis and @H&F Parent in an earlier post that Toby Young's claims appear to be false.
To expand on Allan Beavis's points: the proposed partnership between LOS and the WLFS was in the context of the Oratory's proposal to convert to Academy status. It is a stipulation that a school becoming an Academy partners a vulnerable or struggling school. Several parents were concerned that, as the WLFS does not yet exist, it is impossible to identify it as being struggling or vulnerable. The parents felt that it would be more in keeping with the spirit of the requirement, not to mention with the Christian ethos of the LOS, to partner a school with a more real need of support.

George H's picture
Tue, 12/04/2011 - 14:55

It is curious that LOS have made no comment to deny the veracity of Toby Young's claims that there is a partnership with the school. When presented with the evidence of the LOS letter to parents, he still continued on websites to challenge the evidence and told people to check their facts before making accusations.

Since he clearly believes that there is a partnership and that WLFS pupils will be able to join classes at LOS, does this imply that the school has an undisclosed agreement with WLFS? Or is someone mistaken? Or telling "porkies"? I'm sure the parents of LOS would like clarification.

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