Kingston Academy(5 Posts)
This new school is due to open with its first intake of students next September and just had an open evening for prospective parents, but I was disappointed with the level of information they provided. I really wonder about the risks associated with a brand new state school which needs so much funding to get off the ground. Before they even recruit all the teachers, they haven't begun much of the structural work in the old building.
Has anyone heard anything from the board of governors or the council in the way of assurances that the school will be fully funded for the forseeable future and that there is no risk of the school being down-sized or even closed with the children having to be scattered to other schools?
The school is approved as a Free School, so the building works will be overseen by the EFA and ongoing funding will come via the Department of Education. The Council's involvement is limited to it's membership of the educational partnership who put the proposal together and will oversee it's implementation in terms of educational provision. Local Councils no longer have the power to establish new schools or any funding for them which is why they established the partnership in the first place. Next door in Richmond parents had to come up with the proposal for a new school because the Council were busy setting up an exclusive Catholic School that does nothing to address the pressure on school places. It is approved to open in 2015 ( indeed was approved to open in 2014 but had no site) but as yet has still not announced a site , a particular problem in these boroughs.
Kingston academy is a much easier one for the EFA and D of E because it has a site. It is desperately needed to address the pupil bulge coming through. There will not be enough school places to go round if it does not come on stream and stay on stream. The D of E is very aware of it's responsibilities to provide new school places which is why the proposals have been approved in these boroughs. Even if the school fails to meet the required educational standards and gets put into measures by OFSTED which seems unlikely given the credibility of the partnership implementing the educational strategies, the D of E would still need there to be a school using that site. There will obviously be a budget but it is very unlikely indeed that the government funding will not be forthcoming to open the school and keep it open .
Obviously a new school has to inspire confidence in parents so a new team will be working hard to build a reputation and there are advantages as well as disadvantages in being the first cohort through a school, more attention, always being the most senior etc.
I know several parents from Richmond borough who are putting Kingston Academy on their forms, just in case their own community free school gets deferred again. Think yourselves lucky david147, and don't forget this school was originally approved as part of the last Labour Government's Building Schools for the Future programme , and was only reconfigured as a free school proposal because the BSF funding was cut.
I went to see Kingston Academy and was very impressed. Great news to have a new secondary school in our area. The head is experienced and committed to excellence.
Anyone know if Kingston Academy has signed its funding agreement yet? I read that free schools that haven't done that by National Offer Day can only give conditional offers of places, and the Local Authority has to give out another offer too, but I can't see anything about it on the school website and there's nothing in the admissions brochure either.
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