Brent Cabinet faced angry criticism tonight when it approved the setting up of a Free School offering 'alternative provision' for children rejected by local secondary schools.
Local Labour Party member Graham Durham lambasted Cllr Muhammed Butt, Labour leader of Brent Council, for not following Labour Party policy which he claimed is against the creation of any more free schools.
Cllr Mili Patel read a statement in a barely audible voice about the proposal but rather than focusing on the creation of a free school focused on the youth provision that would be offered outside of school hours by the voluntary sector. There will be no directly employed Brent Council youth workers but building maintance costs and school hours running costs will be paid by the Free School.
Durham said that rather than a Free School the Council could have asked a local mainstream secondary school to run the facility for out of school children. All Brent former local authority secondary schools are now academies as are all but one special school. The majority of Brent's academies are stand-alone rather than part of a chain.
Guardian on Labour Party education policy LINK
Later Graham Durham claimed on Facebook that the Brent CEO left the meeting to accost him after the item was discussed:
What made the event unusual was that as I was outside and walking away from the meeting outside in a corridor, I was cornered by the Chief Executive ( supposedly non-political) who called me ‘ a vile little man’. I had never met her before but she clearly does not like ‘her’ councillors receiving independent socialist advice. Odd.