|Arena House opposite Wembley Park Station|
Arnold said that the Council had not been consulted by the DfE. Although the school will have to apply for planning position the Council has no powers over it. However she said that the Council was concerned about teaching and learning, equalities and conditions of employment in the school. They would have talks with the providers in order to try and apply the Council's free school criteria.
Cllr Michael Pavey (Labour Barnhill) said that he shared Cllr Arnold's concern. As Chair of Governors at Wembley Primary he said that his school did not educate its pupils in order to hand them over to unqualified teachers at a Free School. Free Schools had an average of 9% of children on free school meals whereas Wembley Primary had about a third. Schools should be run to nurture and educate children, not for private profit.
To applause, he urged the Council to take a strong and principled stand on this issue.
The school will be subject to planning permission but this is unlikely to be a problem given the very lose regulation around Free Schools and the buildings previous use as a further education college. Play space will be limited but I suspect a deal may be done with the Ark Academy which is just across the road and has extensive playing fields.