As reported before, I have been trying to find out from the DfE how much money was given to Katharine Birbalsingh and her Michaela Community School group for failing to set up a free school, firstly in Lambeth, then in Tooting.
Each time money has been spent on PR, consultants, website design, leaflets and leafletters, hire of halls for public meetings, etc. The DfE have refused to give the information and are now saying that this is because the information will be given when the school opens in September 2013.
The new Michaela School Group website
contains the information that it has obtained premises in North Wembley - rather a long way for a pupil to travel from Tooting Broadway! This underlines the lack of transparency and political bias that has crept into the DfE but also, more seriously, the waste of money and the undermining of a local authority's ability to plan sensibly. Tooting has a surplus of secondary places, so has North Wembley. The need for places is elsewhere.
Given the National Audit Office's conclusion that £1 billion has been syphoned off from the general education budget to fund these vanity projects, I have to wonder how much has gone into black holes like this.