An update to the Sulivan saga. The truth is out.
Curiously, though they love it so very much, the Council and Andrew Christie have repeatedly refused to allow access to the New King's/Thomas’ Academy proposal. This proposal is the 'reason that closing Sulivan is a good move'.
This proposal is part of the public consultation document.
The proposal is mentioned in the public meetings (in fact, the Exec from Thomas’ was there to speak about how wonderful it will be).
The proposal is mentioned in the statutory closure notices placed at both New King's and Sulivan.
A huge part of what the Council tries to use to ‘ameliorate the pain’ of this closure proposal is the ‘merits’ of the New King's proposal.
But they won’t let us see it.
Now Christie seems to be saying that it has not even been seen by the Council!!
In a 2nd Dec Christie says ‘I have had confirmation from New King’s School and from Thomas’s London Day Schools that their joint representation to the Council regarding the proposed amalgamation will be published on their website on or after 11 December. I understand that, in addition to the information they have provided at the public consultation meetings about their plans, they will set out in detail their proposal for the Parsons Green Academy to become an outstanding and oversubscribed school.’
And on 6th Dec Christie says ‘ New King’s agreed to delay publishing their academy proposal until the Council had consulted on its own proposal to amalgamate New King’s and Sulivan Schools. New King’s has therefore not submitted its academy proposal to the Council yet, but as stated below, its representation to the Council about the amalgamation proposal will contain details about their plans. This representation will be published on their school website on or after 11 December.
– at scrutiny we saw the ‘representation’ to the Council from New King's. It was fluffy and lacked any substance whatsoever. It would be an embarrassment to any educational leadership team. But why isn’t the representation on the LBHF website with the others? Why are they hiding it? It was a double sided A4 of fantasy visions and lofty goals and ‘building an empire’ language – but no substance – and with a partner with zero experience in community schools! Maybe it was too embarrassing to show – its vacuousness, lack of defensibility and how it shows the Council is only on about its agenda rather than children. If the Council cared about children it would have considered A PROPER proposal before making it the lynchpin of the decision to close the better and more popular school and risk the education of hundreds of children
– the New King's website has been ‘down
’ since the consultation began. Now suddenly Andrew Christie is saying it will be revived on 11th of December. That date is the very day that the consultation on closing Sulivan ends. So on that day they plan to revive the dead website, gleaming with the full proposal that the Council says it hasn’t even seen? Why plan ahead to publish a proposal on a specific date if you are not sure of what the outcome will be? This foreknowledge of when the proposal will be announced – on the day the consultation closes – really seems to acknowledge a ‘fait accompli’ on the part of Andrew Christie.
And if the Council and Christie really haven’t seen this detailed proposal OR don’t have the confidence to provide it upon repeated request, why on earth are they so utterly convinced this proposal and partnership will be a raving success? And why do they base what seems to be a ‘cart before horse’ decision upon it? Suggestions have been made that it might be about freeing up the site for a free school that wants it – but we understand that idea also kind of hurts some people’s feelings….
So why won’t they publish it ? They are either hiding it for some reason – or being reckless and irresponsible in making such huge decisions based upon fully aerated glitter covered candy floss.
I think they are hiding it because it is all a foregone conclusion based on ideology rather than any iota of substance.
Sulivan has pressed for reasons why the Council has not examined the three other potential sites for the free school. The reason? The Council’s most recent reply was that the Founder of the Fulham Boys School preferred the Sulivan site and therefore, they did not intend carrying out a feasibility study on alternative sites.