Free schools are needed most where the Council schools are worst. This generally means in Labour-run authorities. But, of course, these are councils that will seek to be the most obstructive. That is why it is important for the Government to reduce the bureaucratic burdens for free schools and allow companies to get involved in setting than up for a profit.
But I am pleased there seems to be a good prospect of a free school opening in Tower Hamlets. Canary Wharf College will start as a primary school with a view to extending to becoming a secondary school. The Principal is Sarah Counter whose past involvement with Civitas' New Model School is a hugely encouraging sign for prospective parents.
They have found a site.
They have also been given the go ahead by the Government.
“What are you up to? It’s all very quiet in here.” I can hear my mother saying this as if it was yesterday. The note of wonder in her voice came not so much from suspicion that I was being naughty, but rather that her normally vociferous and rumbustious daughter was silently getting on with something.
Well the silence on my blog has been due to waves of work crashing around me having received the exciting letter from the Rt. Hon. Michael Gove giving us permission to start a school. I am now on full sail to try and open Canary Wharf College for this September.
Since receiving the letter I have been to the DfE and meet with our allocated ‘Lead Partner’ in Sanctuary Buildings. Sanctuary Buildings, a smart office block in the shadow of Wesminster Abbey, is the Head Office for the Department for Education. Photographs hanging in the waiting room display the Education Ministers over the last century. Poignant names such as Richard Butler, Sir Keith Joseph and Baroness Thatcher are amongst them, each one having altered and changed the face of the British education system to a greater or lesser extent. I suspect when Michael Gove hangs alongside them, he will undoubtedly be remembered for the opportunity he has given to a few of us to start a Free School.
Thank you to so many of you who have recently sent me your CV’s. Your offers of help have been much appreciated and I will be in contact one or two of you shortly to draw on your expertise. Please keep collecting signatures as these are vital evidence of support in our consultation process.