Katherine Birbalsingh loses another site for her ‘free’ school

Wandsworth Save Our Schools press release

Wandsworth Save Our Schools welcomes the news that Katharine Birbalsingh has at last acknowledged what others have been warning for at least 2 months: that in the absence of a building, it would be impossible to open any new school by September 2012.  Her attempts to force the sale of the Trident Centre in Tooting would have led to a loss of over 400 jobs. WSOS have submitted a Freedom of Information Request to the Department of Education to establish how much money has already be put into this ill conceived project.  This is money which could have been put into existing schools to improve facilities and has been completely wasted.

At Wandsworth’s Education and Children’s Services Scrutiny Committee on Wednesday, Cllr Dawson commented about “free” school applications in the borough: “quite how it will be managed in the future – we will have to see”.  We believe that education provision should be planned not chaotic.

It is now to be hoped that Boris Johnson’s London Development Agency, as freeholders, will get fully behind the Trident Business Centre by giving them a grant to carry out essential repairs and improvements.  The Wandsworth Youth Enterprise Centre, the leaseholders of the Trident, have been doing invaluable work with young people and depend on the rental income from business units in the Trident to fund their work.


Statement by Michaela Community School

A statement

The proposers of the Michaela Community School announced today that the school will not open this year as planned. This is because, despite lengthy negotiations, it has not been possible to secure the preferred site, the Trident Centre on Bickersteth Road, SW17, in time for the school to open in September.

We are still completely committed to setting up a community school which serves London’s inner-city which sets high expectations and raises standards and aspirations. We are very grateful to everyone who has shown their support for our school.

We were faced with a very difficult situation but we had to take this decision now so that we could offer parents complete clarity so that they can take decisions for their children’s future based on a full understanding of the facts.

Ministers are currently considering the proposers’ request to defer opening until 2013 – an announcement regarding the next phase will be made as soon as possible.
We are now no longer accepting admissions for the Michaela Community School for September 2012. If you have already applied for a place for your child you will receive a personal letter explaining the situation. If you have any additional questions please email us here.

We would like to offer our sincere thanks to the many people and organisations who have offered us their time and support since January.

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