|Gordon Brown Makes a Surprise Appearance at Fulham Cross School|
PM backs plans for Fulham College
Prime Minister Gordon Brown has made a surprise appearance
with Secretary of State for Education, Ed Balls MP at Fulham Cross Girls’ School in Munster Road.
The duo visited the school on Tuesday, June 30 to launch nationwide plans for chains of schools run by single "super-heads".
Last year local parents had their say on plans to bring Fulham Cross Girls’ School together with its close neighbour Henry Compton School.
The new school – which has Fulham College as a working title – will be controlled by a single governing body from the beginning of the next school year in September. The school is expected to have a single head teacher by September 2010.
Messrs Brown and Balls used their visit to say chains of schools could have the same identity, share administrative staff and be run by one overall "executive head teacher".
Hammersmith & Fulham Council's plans to bring these two schools together arose from a special Commission chaired by leading educationalist Baroness Perry. The commission was set up two years ago to re-think secondary education in Fulham.
Eventually Fulham College will provide ten classes per academic year, enabling it to admit 300 pupils at the age of 11. There will be a total of 1,500 places for 11 to 16 year-olds.
" We want to see chains of schools run by a single overall leadership, probably with a shared brand, with some shared management and governance with a shared ethos and identity, " said Mrf Balls, who wants other council's to follow Hammersmith & Fulham's example.
H&F Council Leader, Cllr Stephen Greenhalgh, said: " Although both of our schools were performing relatively well, the council believes that to truly excel changes were needed to encourage more local parents to choose local schools.
" It now appears this approach is getting national endorsement. If this encourages parents to put Fulham College at the top of their preference list, that is very good news. "
Fulham College will see the existing schools rebuilt or re-modelled with new facilities tailored to the needs of its pupils.
Fulham Cross is already a specialist language college and will gain a new modern foreign languages centre as part of the redevelopment.
At Henry Compton School, new facilities will include a new performing arts building which will consist of a large performance hall and will be able to seat approximately 150 people.
There will also be two spacious classrooms, dressing rooms and a green room. The performance hall will benefit from professional quality stage lighting and sound systems whilst the teaching spaces will be fully equipped to enable costume and set design/construction.
July 1, 2009