Latymer Head Voices Concerns Over West London Free School

Claiming current local infrastructure 'cannot cope with influx of children'

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West London Free School

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Latymer Upper Head Peter Winter has written to neighbours voicing his concerns over the soon to be open West London Free School claiming traffic will increase and that the current local infrastructure would not cope with the influx of children and parents.

The much publicized Free School is set to move into Palingswick House just a stone’s throw from Latymer, across the road from Ravenscourt Park Preparatory School with Sacred Heart High School a few hundred metres along road in Hammersmith.

"Whilst we have no argument with the proposal to establish a new secondary school in Hammersmith and Fulham,” said Mr Winter, “we do wish, however, to raise a number of serious practical concerns at the proposal to locate a new secondary school in this already very busy King Street area."

The state-funded but independently run West London Free School is being set up by parents led by Acton resident Toby Young who said, "It is important to bear in mind West London Free School will be serving areas like Hammersmith, Ravenscourt Park and Brook Green. Children won't have to travel far.”

"It's also going to be half the size of a typical comprehensive and Palingswick House will only accommodate the lower school. There will never be more than 600 children there and they won't be arriving all at once. We want to grow slowly, giving everyone in the area time to adjust."

However, questions are being asked about the need for another secondary school in the area with the Hammersmith Academy, a brand new, non-denominational, all-ability, co-educational secondary school for 11-18 year olds, also opening this September. and the withdrawal of Building Schools for The Future Funding from a number of other schools in the area including Sacred Heart High School who were in the process of establishing a sixth form before the financial rug was pulled.

“I don’t understand why some schools have had their funding for expansion withdrawn,” said one mother, “but the Government is finding enough to fund a new Free School; it doesn’t make sense to me.”

February 16, 2011