|The Michaela Academy site today|
Things are even worse for the other two secondary free schools due to open in September with Year 7 pupils. Neither Gladstone nor Gateway have yet to find a site. Gladstone's offcial address is the Crown Hotel in Cricklewood and Gateway has offices at 5-6 Empire Way. Gateway was rumoured to have its eye on a building in London Road but the school's website states that it hope to inform parents of the school's site in 'the New Year' and has not been updated. Gladstone announced to the local press today that it was not now proposing to build on the local Gladstone Open Space after community protests and it is still looking for a site within a mile radius.
Whatever one thinks about free schools, and my views are well known, this puts parents and pupils in a difficult position when they receive information about their school applications on Monday. What will happen to them if the buildings are not ready in September? Transfer to secondary school is fraught enough without this additional uncertainty. Will Brent Council suddenly be confronted with a substantial group of pupils not in school?