Earls Court Primary Given Go Ahead by Education Secretary

Second local primary planned by West London Free School

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West London Free School has had its plans to open a second primary school in Earls Court, in addition to its new primary in Hammersmith, approved by Education Secretary Michael Gove.

Earls Court Primary is among 102 new free schools which have been given the green light this week, with the government saying this will create more than 50,000 new school places and "create a better and more diverse school system".

West London Free School says it hopes to open the school in either September next year or in 2015 in premises within the proposed redevelopment of the Earls Court area.

The school's announcement says: " The West London Free School Charitable Trust received some good news this morning. Our proposal to open a new primary school in Earls Court has been approved by the Department for Education, one of 102 free school proposals to be given the green light today.

" If you add that to the new primary we're opening in September and our existing secondary, it brings the total number of free schools sitting under our trust to three. We hope to open at least three more in the next five years, including another secondary school in West London."

In Shepherd's Bush, Burlington Danes Academy has also been given the go ahead to create a new primary school, which it hopes to open in September 2014.

School Principal, Dame Sally Coates tweeted on her Twitter account @CoatesSally: " It's official: Burlington Danes Primary Academy has been approved. Thanks to everyone who supported this exciting project."

Hammersmith and Fulham Council announced in January that as part of £33 million being invested in local schools in the Schools of Choice capital programme, Burlington Danes Academy is receiving £4.5 million to create the new primary school.

Burlington Danes is part of the ARK Academy Group which operates 13 schools across London, including neighbouring primaries ARK Bentwood and ARK Conway.

The group describes itself as " a network of high-achieving, non-selective schools and one of the country’s top-performing academy groups."

The Department for Education says across the country there are already 81 open free schools, with a further 109 aiming to open in September and beyond. In total, all currently approved free schools would deliver 130,000 new school places when full.

It says free schools are state-funded schools independent of local authority control. They are run by teachers - not local or central government bureaucrats. They have the freedom to decide the length of the school day and term, the curriculum, and how they reward their teachers and spend their money.

May 23, 2013