Gladstone School, initially a secondary free school planned for the Gladstone Park area in Brent, has thrown in the towel having again failing to find a site and having to tell children expecting to attend in September that they will have to find another school.
On the 'school's' website today (I put 'school' in quotation marks because it has never educated a single child)
Putting aside the issue of the plans for the school, which have not been put to the test, questions have to be asked about government free school policy when the Education Funding Agency and DfE are unable to find a site for a school but continue funding it.It is with great regret that we must announce the end of the Gladstone School project, due entirely to a failure to find a suitable site.
As many of Brent’s parents already know, a change in government policy in 2014 blocked the school’s plans to open in a temporary site at the last minute, forcing us to defer opening. A site was identified for a 2015 opening, but in February last year negotiations with the site owner collapsed, along with our chances of opening that year. Since then, no further site has been found, despite the full support of Brent Council who have long recognised the need for more secondary school places.
Since we first floated the vision of a parent and community led school, we have been met with enthusiasm, interest and support – locally, nationally and indeed internationally. The depth of that support has kept us fighting for a new school for so long. However, faced with the continued absence of a possible site, the decision has been made to cancel the project altogether.
We are very sad that we will be disappointing the many parents and young people who responded so warmly to our ideas, and would like to thank you for all your support over the last four years.
Maria EvansChair of Governors
Brent schools could have used the money well for actual children rather than the cash going down the drain on something that is not much more than a website, illustrated with stock photos of uniformed child models, and a salaried Principal who has no building, no staff and no pupils.