Is West London Free School to limit intake to its own two primary schools?

Rosie Fergusson's picture
It would appear that by 2018 the West London Secondary Free School is proposing to limit its 120 strong Yr 7 intake to selection from ONLY TWO feeder primary schools; namely its own 2.5 miles apart.

On their website it states that the WLF Primary (opening with 60 in 2013) will soon be joined by the proposed Earl’s Court Primary some 2.5 miles away (due to open with 30 intake in 2014 rising to 60 in 2018).

Hence any child in the area not attending one of the two WLFS Primaries from the age of 5 will have little if any chance of attending the secondary WLFS; a fact somewhat at odds with WLFS’s pride in its equality of admissions.

The Earls Court School will be built to specifically serve the controversial Earl’s Court redevelopment (Controversial?  Yes, because it involves demolition of two estates with a vague promise of rehousing “nearby”).

The school website states that it will specifically serve this “regenerated” area of Kensington (the adjacent area has an average house price is £2 million with a 2 bed flat costing an average of £350k. Very thoughtfully WLFS will provide a bus service to ferry Earls Court pupils the 2.5 miles to the temporary site at WLFS and then later when they transfer to year 7 from Earls Court to the secondary WLFS.

It of course makes perfect sense to locate a Primary right in the heart of spanking new prime real estate; after all proximity to “good schools” is a key selling point and the developers are probably rubbing their hands with glee . However with high property prices likely it seems a given that the WLFS will struggle to maintain a Free School Meal intake level of 46-50 % in keeping with the immediately surrounding primary Schools.

The new development is proposed as “mixed housing”; now as any one cynically familiar with the development process may know it is very easy for a developer to moot “affordable homes” as being at the heart of a development at the consultation stage; but it’s also very easy later on for such properties to be relocated to a cheaper site some distance away via a vague planning variation with no consultation.

Further links are here and here.
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