The Fulham Boys School is Formally Opened

With a celebration of new free school's "can do spirit"

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Parents, supporters and guests, including its patrons, the Bishop of Kensington, Rt Revd Paul Williams and local MP Greg Hands. as well as Nick Gibb, Secretary of State at the Department of Education and Hammersmith and Fulham Council's Cabinet Member for Children and Education Sue Macmillan attended the official opening of new free school The Fulham Boys School on Thursday, November 20.

The school has been up and running with its first intake of Year 7 since the beginning of the school year in September and the official opening was held at its temporary site on the Gibbs Green Estate.

In the summer the school's future seemed uncertain when its planned opening on the temporary site in the Gibbs Green Estate was halted by the then Education Secretary Michael Gove as it was unable to find a permanent site in Fulham.

This decision was reversed after an intervention by London Mayor Boris Johnson. You can read the background to this story here

A series of delays, largely caused by uncertainties over the school’s site, saw FBS fight during July to ensure it could open as planned. Classrooms and facilities then had to be created in just two weeks.

Alun Ebenezer, FBS Headmaster, said: " More than anything, we want to celebrate the 'can do' spirit that got FBS off the ground and is now driving our first boys forward.

" Parents and staff took a huge leap of faith in sticking by us when we were told we couldn’t open in July, and everyone then worked miracles to get the school ready in two weeks. It may have been a baptism of fire, but it has helped to forge a fantastic school ethos.

" Our challenge now is to deliver the outstanding education we’ve promised parents and pupils. Our founders, governors and staff spent five years planning a school specifically to motivate boys, and it’s energising to see our first pupils starting to flourish – picking up books through choice, throwing themselves into tackles on the rugby pitch, singing their hearts out."

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Education Minister, Nick Gibb MP, said: "Congratulations to the parents, school and all concerned in your tremendous achievement in getting this school open.

" Free schools have the freedom to be innovative, and I’m convinced that your vision of high academic standards, competitive sport and good discipline will be a success. I’ll watch with pride what I’m sure will be an outstanding school in Fulham."

The school will be on its temporary site at Gibbs Green for up to three years and is currently recruiting for its 2015 intake through the London wide school admissions process. The school says it will be at full capacity in 2020 with 800 boys and an announcement on its permanent location in the borough is expected shortly.

November 21, 2014