Thursday 28 February 2013

Now a secondary free school in Wembley Central based on preparation for work

Madison House, London Road, Wembley
I have written before about the lack of detail provided by would be free school starters and that is appeared to be the case with another proposed secondary free school in Wembley.

The Gateway Academy is reported to have found premises in Wembley Central off Wembley High Road. The entire information posted on their website LINK is reproduced below:

A group of experienced educationalists are looking to establish a new free school in the London Borough of Brent to be located in central Wembley offering education to students from Year 7 through to A-Level.

Gateway Academy shall provide a well-rounded education that will equip today’s generation to compete in tomorrow’s world. Education is in many ways an introduction into the world of employment and it is essential that our students leave school fully equipped to deal with the demands and challenges that employment immediately brings. We therefore seek to equip our students with the skills, abilities, knowledge and experiences necessary to prepare them for this transition and this shall be a focus of the school.

The school shall operate on the following principles:

Global citizenship
The Arts
Enterprise & Entrepreneurship
For our school to be considered for operation, we need to show evidence of parental and student demand. If you feel that you as a student, or you as a parent, feel that our new school would provide the type of education that would bring out the best in your child, please do complete our online survey at,
If you have any questions about our potential new school, please do email us to or call us at 020 8966 9900
This would leave plenty of space on the back of an envelope! There are no other pages or details on the website..  I understand that the application is for a three form entry school. It will be close to Copland High School which is the only remaining  local authority secondary school in Brent (the others are either academies or faith schools now)  which has been going through a difficult period and is not full in Year 7. A rival secondary free school could further destabilise Copland.

However, following up the website given on the e-mail I found that this led to the Regency Group LINK which specialises in supplementary education and classes for entrance examinations for  grammar and independent schools.

Their Wembley address is
 Regent Learning Wembley
Madison House, 24-28 London Road
Wembley, HA9 7EX

Madison House is a Brent Council property  with several users including BACES.At one stage the entire office building was on sale for £1.7m.

The description of the school above makes it clear that the school sees education as narrowly linked to employment.  The Managing Director of Regent Group's profile is revealing:
The Managing Director of the Group, Mr Selva Pankaj, graduated from the University of SDA Bocconi, Milan with a Master in Business Administration. He has also gained membership of The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants and The Chartered Institute of Management.
His major achievement is the foundation of Regent Group in 2000 and the development and nurture of it into the multi faceted entity that it is today.
His wealth of corporate experience over 20 years includes work at Prudential Financial Inc, Goldman Sachs, Fortress Investments, Grosvenor Property Fund Management, Rockspring Property Investment Managers, Schroders Property Investment Management, Pricoa Property PLC and Legg Mason Real Estate Inc. His notable successes include:
- Involvement in major capital raises amounting to over €1.5 billion of capital alongside Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and Merrill Lynch
- Restructuring the tax structures of closed end investment companies that invest and manage a diverse portfolio of Commercial Real Estate, derivatives and investments.
- His direct involvement, including negotiating deals and establishing a purchase price, in the acquisition of Legg Mason Real Estate Inc whilst working for Grosvenor Property Fund Management.
- Co-ordinating IPOs in the NYSE, the LSE and European stock markets.
- Has worked in various corporate entities in the United Kingdom, United States and in Europe, in particular Germany, at a range of senior positions.
It appears that this proposal is another step towards our taxes going to groups intent on the eventual privatisation of our schools.

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