Parents Propose New Fulham School for Boys

Sponsors keen to hear from other interested families

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 Following the lead taken by West London Free School, a number of Fulham parents are proposing the setting up of a new Church of England free secondary school for boys - and are asking other local people to back them.

The families have presented their proposals to the Secretary of State for Education, and are waiting to hear if their plans will get Government backing. Hammersmith and Fulham says it is already backing the plans.

If they are given the support they need, the parent-sponsored secondary school could open in September 2012. It is likely to admit a proportion of children from CofE families and a proportion of children from any other background. Its intake would be comprehensive, with three or four forms of entry per year and a sixth form.

Local parent Jonny Ambrose of Vera Road, who is one of the sponsors, is asking anyone who wants to contribute to the proposal to get in touch and says there is already a great deal of interest from local parents in setting up a comprehensive boys’ schools with strong Christian values.

" The choice is very limited for parents of boys who want a Christian education," he says. " Lady Margaret school does a great job for girls, but there are many families who are frustrated at the lack of places for boys in a faith school with traditional educational values."

The parents’ group includes families who currently have children in local state primary schools, many of whom feel they would otherwise have to turn to schools outside the borough or, for the very few who can afford it, to the independent sector, to find the places they want for their children. Currently only 44% of 11-year-olds living in the borough go to local state secondary schools.

" Our vision is to create a fully inclusive school that will appeal to parents who want single-sex education for their boys," says Jonny. " We are keen to hear from parents who want to get involved in their children's education and to help with a wide range of extra-curricular activities."

Hammersmith and Fulham Council is already supporting the development of three other free schools in the borough. " It is undeniable that parents would like more local choice," says Councillor Helen Binmore, cabinet member for Children’s Services. "Free schools enable parents to contribute to our goal of having good local schools which local parents wish to choose for their children and we will support their efforts in any way we can."

Anyone interested in joining the parents' group, or just finding out more, can go to the website or email meriel3@btinternet.com.

February 25, 2011