|Parents Set to Apply to Open Fulham Boys School in 2013|
MP Greg Hands urges local residents to support proposal
A group of parents in Fulham are asking residents to register their support for plans to open a new Fulham Boys School in September 2013.
Their plans already have the backing of Chelsea and Fulham MP Greg Hands, who says: " I have given this proposal for a new Fulham Boys School my wholehearted support.
"We have some excellent new schools locally, but there is a pressing need for a high quality boys’ Church of England secondary. I urge all residents from SW6 and beyond to register their support."
The parents' group say they are aiming to set up a new Church of England free school for boys aged 11 to 18 years, and will be submitting their proposals to the Secretary of State for Education.
Parents interested in applying for a place for their sons are being asked to register their support before February 15.
If successful, the secondary school would open with its first intake of Year 7 boys in September 2013, though no premises have yet been identified in Fulham.
The Fulham Boys School organisers say they aim to provide an outstanding, enterprising education for boys, set within a framework of Christian values and striving for academic excellence.
However, while the plans are for a Church of England school, organisers are actively encouraging support from across the community. Their vision is for a truly inclusive school with at least half of the places each year open to applicants of all faiths and none.
Alex Wade, chairman of the group, says: " From speaking to parents locally, it is clear there’s very real demand for more choice at secondary level, for boys in particular.
"Fulham hasn’t got a secondary faith school for boys, other than the excellent but heavily oversubscribed Oratory School, and our ambition is to fill this gap with an outstanding school, with inspirational teaching planned specifically to bring out the best in boys."
Jonny Ambrose, one of the school’s sponsors, says: " We know the funding for new free schools is tough, and while we’re confident in the strength of our proposals we are going to need your support to persuade the Department of Education that a Church of England boys’ secondary school is needed and will have a positive effect locally.
"We won't be able successfully to create Fulham Boys School without local residents' help. In particular, we need to prove there is a demand from parents of current Year 5 and Year 4 boys - moving to secondary school in 2013 and 2014 respectively.”
School organisers believe that Fulham is well served by faith and non-faith primary schools. It also has an outstanding Church of England girls’ and a Catholic boys’ secondary school. However, there has not been a local Church of England secondary school for boys to progress to for more than 20 years.
Some reports suggest that over half of Fulham children presently go on to secondary education outside the borough. A study carried out by Fulham Boys School found near unanimous agreement that greater choice is needed, for boys in particular.
Alex Wade adds: "Fulham Boys School will be answering a very real need locally for parents who want their sons to benefit from an education designed specifically to bring out the best in boys and to equip them with the life skills to flourish in the 21st century."
If you would like to register support before February 15, visit the school website.
Greg Hands is also asking parents who have registered support to email him at firstname.lastname@example.org so he can help en the Secretary of State for Education knows the level of support for the school locally.
February 1, 2012