Progress For 'Free School' For Brentford

Final documents delivered to DfE for consideration

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Following a year preparation the final documentation for the proposed new co-ed 11-18 secondary school for Brentford Isleworth area was delivered to the DfE for their consideration last Thursday.

The proposed school is planning to open in September 2017 with an initial intake of 150 students, this increasing to a yearly intake of 180/year to meet the rising need for secondary school places in this area.

The bids sponsors say that their survey shows support for the proposed free school has been overwhelming with 402 out of 426 respondents with sons/daughters currently in year 3 suggesting that they would be willing to make the new school their first choice, and 349 out of 369 respondents currently in year 4 suggesting the same.

The free school bid has been assembled by a group of primary and secondary head teachers, working with the assistance of appointed consultants and the direct involvement and cooperation of the local authority where required.

A site for the proposed new school has not yet been confirmed; this is not unusual for a free school application, although work has been put into identifying possible sites and investigating feasibility. Final decisions on site and buildings lie with the Education Funding Agency if and when the bid is approved.

The bid will now be considered by the DfE with a decision likely in late February / early March.

Tony Ryan, head teacher of Chiswick School who chairs the Secondary Education Improvement Partnership and chaired the group in the development of the bid stated, “The preparation of this bid has been hard work for all involved over a fairly long period of time. It is a truly altruistic piece of work by the primary and secondary heads, who saw the impending need for secondary places in the years ahead and made the brave decision to take matters into their own hands, rather than wait for an outside agency to potentially fill the gap.

"The EIP exists to meet the needs of all Hounslow students, in my experience it is very unusual for head teachers across the primary/secondary sectors to work together so successfully. Hounslow is fortunate to have such strong school leadership with such visionary heads capable of seeing the wider landscape beyond their own schools.”

If successful in the bid process, the school aims to have strong links with local business partners and will deliver a curriculum with a strong academic emphasis, carefully aligned with the need to prepare students for the challenges that life will inevitably bring.

October 17, 2014