Michaela Free School opened to 120 Year 7 pupils this morning despite fears about the safety of Arena House which is now a building site with just as narrow roofed timber lined corridor for entrance and exit. Concerns have been raised with both Brent Council Health and Safety and the London Fire Brigade.
It was really sad this morning to see eager young faces, excited about starting secondary school, drop when they saw the state of the building.
Worried parents were assured that it was just the outside that looked like that - it was 'lovely' inside. However, parents were disconcerted to be refused entry to the building to see for themselves. They were promised a chance to view it at the Open Evening on Wednesday.
This is a glimpse of what appears to be an assembly/canteen/classroom seen through the windows.
Outside parent and grandparent views were mixed. Some accepted the promise that the school would soon be ready at face value, while others said the state of the building was 'disgusting'. One grandparent, who welcomed the 'strict discipline', contrasted the building with the 'beautiful' building at Oakington Manor Primary that her grand-daugher had just left.
|Parents at the school entrance today (white door)|
Several of the parents said they had not chosen Michaela but it was the only school available when their six choices were refused.
Clearly the school has a major job to win some parents round on several counts, including the state of the building, safety and discipline. There may well be a split in the first few weeks between those who positively chose the school because of its 'strict, private school ethos' and those who were forced to take it because nothing else was available.
Challenging times ahead.