French parents in Central London have not been too impressed by the possibility of a Lycée in Wembley. A French parent sent me this statement:
We were all surprised by the decision because it does not reconcile with Wembley regeneration plans with the creation of jobs for the Wembley local community nor the creation of school places for the local Wembley kids !! Basically it will be a rich kids school for parents living in Westminster and Chelsea. Although the last Brent Executive meeting suggested that they needed the money for the new Civic Centre (last Brent Executive minutes on the net).
Indeed a French school will provide jobs for builders for a while and a few 'dinner ladies'. The rest of the staff lives in Central London. The French children going to school in Wembley will be transient i.e. go into the borough for school and go back home to their Central London homes. Most French families live in the vicinity of the current schools.
The French community is not happy with the choice of Wembley because they will be imposed Wembley for their children regardless of their home address in London.
In France and in the UK, the school for your children is normally decided upon by your home address. This means that for those French parents who have three children at different school locations (South Kensington, Kentish Town, Wembley) will be expected to do the school run between South Kensington,. Kentish Town and Wembley simultaneously for 09.00am by tube!!!
When asked about this, the French Embassy dismissed the parents' concerns. with a 'take it or leave it' attitude.
Moreover French parents are very worried at letting their 10-11 years old children commute on their own from Central London to Wembley and back. The timings of the French school day is anything between 08.00 and 18.00 (unlike the UK). Furthermore, it appears that the children might have to walk 15 minutes or so, on their own, from Wembley Park station into a tunnel/motorway to reach Brent Town Hall. Again the Embassy does not seem to be concerned about the safety or welfare of kids nor about the time that these kids will need to spend in commuting from their home in Central London to go to school and back.. The Embassy is treating children as though they were adults going to a new place of work.
Another problem? What will happen when there are no tubes to get from Central London to Wembley? bus? car? What time of the morning will these kids need to get up if taking a bus from South. Ken or Battersea to go to Wembley for 09.00!? Again the French Embassy did not seem to care too much.