Mayor secures future of Fulham Boys School

16 July 2014

- Mayor's intervention will allow the Fulham Boys School to open as planned on its temporary site this September 

- Mayor guarantees a permanent site in Fulham will be found, allowing the Education Funding Agency to release funds immediately 

- City Hall secures agreement on a longer lease on the temporary site giving the school an extra year to find a permanent home 


Earlier this month the Fulham Boys School, a new secondary free school in West London, was forced to abandon plans to open on a temporary site in Gibbs Green, West Kensington, after the then Education Secretary Michael Gove announced he had no choice but to withdraw funding because a permanent home for the school could no longer be guaranteed.


Fulham Boys had been due to take over a permanent site freed up by the merger of two local primary schools but this plan was thrown into doubt when the new Labour leader at Hammersmith and Fulham Council announced a review of the merger decision, leaving Fulham Boys without the guarantee of a permanent home from September 2016.


The Mayor discussed the issue with Mr Gove and asked his team at City Hall to investigate other potential permanent sites, and an extension to the lease on the Gibbs Green site.


Working closely with the Education Funding Agency the Mayor has secured an agreement in principle from CAPCO (owners of the temporary site at Gibbs Green) that allows for a one year extension to the lease, a move that will mean pupils can occupy the temporary site until at least July 2017.


This extension, coupled with a guarantee from the Mayor to help the school find a permanent home in the Borough, means the Education Funding Agency has agreed to release the funds to enable the school to open as planned this September.


City Hall will begin work shortly alongside the school, the borough, and the funding agency to find a permanent site from 2017. News of the agreement between the Mayor and the EFA was relayed to the school yesterday evening.


The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: 'There is enormous pressure on school places and a key part of my efforts to improve education across the capital is about helping groups secure sites to set up free schools. I am delighted we have been able to find a solution which allows the Fulham Boys School to open as planned this September. I am grateful to CAPCO for their understanding and to the EFA for their openness in supporting our ambition to find a permanent site. Their decision today to release the funds needed for the school to start life in Fulham is great news. I know that parents and pupils have endured a dreadful couple of weeks but this agreement means there will be a Fulham Boys School up and running from this September.'


The Schools Minister Lord Nash said: 'I am delighted that we are now able to open this excellent school in September as originally planned. The GLA and EFA have worked rapidly together to achieve this way forward, and the Mayor’s guarantee of a permanent site provides the school with the security it needs.'

Notes to editors


1. Support for free schools was one of twelve recommendations made in the Mayor's Education Inquiry, which was published in 2012. The Mayor recently announced that he has freed up public land and property to speed up the delivery of 11 schools in the capital, providing places for around 7,300 pupils, nine of which will be free schools. The new schools will be developed in former police stations, on Greater London Authority-owned land and in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. They include seven primary schools, three teaching at secondary level and one all through school. Nine will be free schools, one a new University Technical College and one a new Academy. Seven sites are located in boroughs ranked in the top ten most deprived in England. In addition, the East London Science School has been provided with temporary accommodation at Three Mills, whilst it looks to secure a permanent home.

2. The Mayor has put education at the heart of his plans to ensure London remains competitive internationally. As well as setting up a dedicated free schools unit, this includes establishing the £24 million London Schools Excellence Fund, the London Curriculum and the London Schools Gold Club, to raise standards in teaching and attainment and aspiration amongst pupils. He launched the London Schools Atlas last year, an online resource providing detailed information on future demand for school places, and has amended the London Plan – the capital's spatial development plan – to place greater emphasis on the importance of new school provision in areas of need. For more information:

3. Other schools set to occupy sites facilitated by the Mayor's office are: 

Abacus Belsize Primary School Type of school: Primary Free School Places: 210 Site: Former Hampstead Police Station, 26 Rosslyn Hill, NW3 1PD About: Abacus is a small community school established by local parents in partnership with the CfBT Schools Trust. The school opened in temporary accommodation in September 2013 and will move to its new site in September 2015. Abacus offers ambitious, personalised learning with a strong focus on literacy and numeracy. Pupils are taught Mandarin from Reception upwards, exposed to outdoor learning, and encouraged to play an active part in their community. 

Harris Primary Academy East Type of school: Primary Free School Places: 420 Site: Former East Dulwich Police Station, 97 Crystal Palace Road, SE22 9EY About: Harris Primary Academy East Dulwich is being set up by the Harris Federation. The school will open in temporary accommodation in September 2014 and will move to its permanent site in September 2015. The Harris Federation has a strong track record in both primary and secondary education. While each of their schools is unique, they share common features and a common ethos. For example, to give pupils an academic head start, Years 5 and 6 are taught by specialist subject teachers, just like in secondary school. 

Alma Type of school: Primary Free School Places: 210 Site: Former Whetstone Police Station, 1170-1172 High Road, N20 0LW About: Alma is a Jewish faith school set up by parents and other members of the local community. The school welcomes children from across the Jewish community, as well as children from other faiths and none: only 50% of its places are allocated based on faith. The school opened on a temporary site in September 2013 and will move to its permanent site in September 2015. Alma strives to give its pupils a strong academic foundation while fostering values of good citizenship, volunteerism, care for the natural world and positive relationships with other faiths and the wider community.

The Olive School, Hackney Type of school: Primary Free School Places: 630 Site: Former Hackney Police Station, 2 Lower Clapton Road & 32 St John’s Church Road, E5 0PA About: The Olive School is a Muslim faith school set up by the Tauheedul Free Schools Trust. Tauheedul strives to develop progressive, mainstream Muslim Free Schools with a focus on academic achievement and community service. The Olive School is committed to promoting British values and welcomes applications from all faiths and none: only 50% of its places are allocated based on faith. The school offers a free breakfast club to give all its pupils a good start to the day. Pupils are encouraged to work towards a ‘Mini-Baccalaureate’ – an award that recognises excellent attendance, high academic achievement, charity work, community service, and extra-curricular enrichment. The school opened in September 2013 in temporary accommodation; its permanent site will open in September 2015. Canary Wharf College Type of school: Primary Free School Places: 280 Site: Privately-owned disused land on the corner of Saunders Ness Road and Glenworth Avenue. The site is made viable by the addition of a 5-metre strip from the Isle of Dogs Police Station car park (E14 3BN), which has been sold to the school. About: Canary Wharf College 2 is being set up by an ‘Outstanding’ existing Free School, Canary Wharf College. It is a Christian faith school, but only 50% of its places are allocated on a faith basis – the school welcomes applications from all faiths and none. The school places a strong emphasis on maths, technology and science but also has a vibrant creative arts programme. Class sizes are limited to 20 pupils, with a teacher and a teaching assistant in each. The school spends 80% of its budget on staffing – far more than most schools. Canary Wharf 2 will open in temporary accommodation in September 2014 and on its permanent site in September 2015. 

London Design and Engineering Type of school: University Technical College Places: 750 Site: Former East Ham Police Station, 4 High Street, E5 0PA About: London Design and Engineering UTC is a specialist design and engineering school for 14 to 19-year-olds. Its proposer is Alpha Building Services Engineering; the university sponsor is the University of East London; and partners include Costain, Thames Water, the London Legacy Development Corporation, and LB Newham. Between the ages of 14 and 16, pupils will study an academic core of GCSEs alongside respected engineering and construction qualifications. Post-16, pupils can opt for A-levels, apprenticeships, or other work-based/technical qualifications. LDE UTC will run an extended school day, from 8.30 – 17.30. The school will open on its permanent site in September 2015. 

Legatum Type of school: All-through Free School Places: 1,560 Site: LLDC land adjacent to the Olympic Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, E20 Type of school: All-through Free School About: Legatum is a new free school being set up by the David Ross Education Trust, a high-performing Academy chain. Millfield, one of the country’s leading independent schools, is a strategic partner in the project. The school’s name is Latin for ‘legacy’, and Legatum will seek to build on the Olympic legacy both in terms of sport and with the regeneration of east London. It will provide an excellent academic education for every child and sport will be at the heart of its approach. Every pupil will take part in some form of extra-curricular physical activity throughout their school career. Legatum will run an extended school day and have a house system. The school will open in September 2016. 

Mossbourne, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park Type of school: Primary Academy Places: 630 Site: LLDC land adjacent to the Copper Box in East Wick, E20 About: Mossbourne, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park is being developed in the East Wick neighbourhood as a partnership between the London Legacy Development Corporation and the London Borough of Hackney. A DfE-sponsored competition was run in the autumn of 2013 to select a school provider and the hugely successful Mossbourne Community Academy Trust was chosen. Construction will begin in early 2015 but the school will open with a reception class at a temporary site at nearby Mossbourne, Victoria Park school in September 2015. The school will be open on its new site in September 2016 ready for the Park’s first residents.

East London Arts & Music Type of school: Post-16 Free School Places: 300 Site: Twelvetrees Crescent, Bromley-by-Bow, E3 2NL (GLA land) ELAM exists to kick-start careers in Music and Creative Industries by providing young talent with the building blocks for success: ACCESS ¬ building a personal network of key professionals. RECOGNITION ¬ taking qualifications that have real credibility. SKILLS ¬ developing the personal and technical skills on industry. ELAM takes these building blocks very seriously and is working with the UK Creative Industries to bring them to life every day inside the school. Together, they have designed ELAM¹s Music Programme to put ambitious young people on pathways to success at university and in the workplace. The Programme is split into Right Person where ELAM Trainees will learn how to be strong communicators, reliable, confident with numbers and driven. This will mean all Trainees will take English and Maths qualifications, have a mentor from Industry and carry out work placements with ELAM's Industry Partners (for example, Universal Music UK). The other half of the curriculum is Right Expertise where Trainees will develop their passion for Music Performance, Production and Business as well as having dedicated instrumental lessons. In 2016, ELAM will begin the Digital Arts Programme using the same close working relationship with industry to provide incredible opportunities for those who want to work in digital media. In September 2014 ELAM will open in its phase I accommodation in Stratford, making use of the 6th form block of another Free School while its new, purpose built permanent site will be ready in early 2016. 

Riverside School Type of school: Secondary Free School Places: 1,824 Site: East of Renwick Road, IG11 0SH (site owned by Barking Riverside Ltd, a joint venture partnership between Bellway and the GLA) About: The Riverside school is a comprehensive secondary school with a sixth form. It opened on a temporary site in September 2012 and will move to its permanent site in September 2016. The school’s motto is “Excellence for All”; Riverside School seeks to provide pupils with a solid academic education, strong discipline and a supportive environment. The school was established to help serve the need for new school places created by the Barking Riverside development. This regeneration of a 443 acre, former power station site is based on principles of sustainable development. Of the 10,800 new homes, 31% will have three or more bedrooms and over 40% will be affordable. Barking Riverside will also feature healthcare, shopping, community and leisure facilities, all supported by new public transport links. 

New primary in South Norwood Type of school: Primary Free School/Academy Places: 420 (expected) Site: Former South Norwood Police Station, 11 Oliver Grove, SE25 6ED About: The Education Funding Agency have acquired this former Police Station in an area of high basic need with the intention of locating a primary Free School or Academy here in the near future. 

Kingfisher Hall Kingfisher Hall is part of the Cuckoo Halls Academy Trust (CHAT) along with three other schools in Enfield. The schools have received £260,900 in funding from the Mayor's London Schools Excellence Fund to deliver a project that will see pupil attainment increase above the borough average. This project is being delivered in conjunction with Civitas who are helping to develop in-depth subject materials and resources covering History, Geography, Science, Latin, Music and Art. CHAT/Civitas are also working alongside the West London Free Schools to implement the programme. For more information: