Fulham free school for boys

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Fulham parents propose new ‘free’ school for boys

Tuesday February 15, 2011

A group of parents in Fulham is asking local families to back plans to set up a Church of England free secondary school for boys in the south of the borough.

They have presented their proposals to the Secretary of State for Education, and are waiting to hear if their plans will get Government backing. If they are given the support they need, the parent-sponsored secondary school could open in September 2012. It is likely to admit a proportion of children from CofE families and a proportion of children from any other background. Its intake would be comprehensive, with three or four forms of entry per year and a sixth form.

Local parent Jonny Ambrose of Vera Road, Fulham is one of the sponsors. He is asking anyone who wants to contribute to the proposal to get in touch and says there is already a great deal of interest from local parents in setting up a comprehensive boys’ schools with strong Christian values. “The choice is very limited for parents of boys who want a Christian education,” he says. “Lady Margaret school does a great job for girls, but there are many families who are frustrated at the lack of places for boys in a faith school with traditional educational values.”

The parents’ group includes families who currently have children in local state primary schools, many of whom feel they would otherwise have to turn to schools outside the borough or, for the very few who can afford it, to the independent sector, to find the places they want for their children. Currently only 44% of 11-year-olds living in the borough go to local state secondary schools.

“Our vision is to create a fully inclusive school that will appeal to parents who want single-sex education for their boys,” Jonny adds.  “We want a school that is very much part of the community, a school that shares its facilities with other local community groups and which enables parents to contribute their time and expertise to their children’s education. Why should Fulham secondary school boys have to spend so much time travelling outside the borough when they could spend this time doing extra-curricular activities such as sport, music, art and drama?”

"We are keen to hear from parents who want to get involved in their children’s education and to help with a wide range of extra-curricular activities."

Sophia Wade of Felden Street, Fulham has three primary-age boys and is also part of the parents’ group. She says the free school proposal offers a choice that is badly needed. “We've been hugely encouraged by people's initial response to our proposal as it's clear that for a large number of Fulham families, there simply isn't a local school that ticks all the right boxes. We've now got a unique opportunity to get this right, and we're determined to create a school that meets both our children’s and our community's needs.  There's still a long way to go, however, and we'd love to hear from anyone who hasn't yet given us their views or who wants to help make our vision a reality."

The parents’ group has the backing of Hammersmith & Fulham Council, which is already supporting the development of three other ‘free’ schools in the borough. “It is undeniable that parents would like more local choice," says Councillor Helen Binmore, cabinet member for Children’s Services. "Free schools enable parents to contribute to our goal of having good local schools which local parents wish to choose for their children and we will support their efforts in any way we can.”

Anyone interested in joining the parents’ group, or just finding out more, can go to www.fulhamboysschool.org (opens new window) or email meriel3@btinternet.com.

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» Send us your comments now

The proposed Fulham Free school for 800--yes,800 secondary-aged boys- is to be shoehorned into a tiny green site on the narrow, residential, Peterborough Road, a few hundred yards from a large mixed comprehensive school. displacing a good primary school on the site, plus its head and teachers, with traffic problems, 3 years building works, noise, AND absolutely NOWHERE for the boys to exercise or play. By all means have a boys' secondary school in the borough, but not there.
From Patricia on 12/11/2013 at 15:32
I will be the happiest mother in the world if my son have a chance to get a good education for free. This will be improve my life perfectly. God will bless those who can help for this great idea.
From Sabo Grainger on 15/08/2012 at 20:49
I am the mother of two primary aged boys and would whole heartedly welcome the development of a boys only state school in the Fulham area. The excellent education offered to girls at the Lady Margaret's School should be available to the boys in the area. Yes, yes, yes - let's all work together to try to make this school a reality. Please continue to focus on the strong Christian ethos as central to the school as I believe that so many schools are lacking in strong religious direction which is so important.
From Julia Emmott on 02/07/2012 at 12:54
it would love to see, a much needed secondary school for the boys, that would give all boys the chance of a well rounded education and a bright future.....quality education for all not just for those who can pay for it!!!
From sim1 on 29/02/2012 at 21:03
much needed school for our boys dont give up hope where thers awill thera a way always xxx
From tremarco on 09/02/2012 at 16:31
I think its a great idea. Children are the future.Most of us parents can''t afford a school like this for our children. I would not mind one bit paying a extra tax so my children could get a better education.
From sabrina on 27/09/2011 at 11:21
This is fantastic and I wholly support you!
From Charlotte Mulford on 17/06/2011 at 17:07
I wholly support this effort.
Another secondary school for boys is desperately needed in Fulham!
From Judi on 17/05/2011 at 13:53
A fantastic initiative in Fulham, long overdue and well needed. Im sorry to say but I dont want my sons attending the schools currently on offer in the borough and feel relieved that there will be some alternative. If you dont like the idea -you dont have to send your child here!! Quit moaning Anton, this is a good thing!!
From Vanessa on 26/04/2011 at 15:51
Its important that we ALL have a choice of where and how our children are taught and if those of a particular faith wish to send their children to a faith school then that is their choice. There are plenty of community schools to choose from for those not wanting a faith school and hardly any CofE for boys in the area, so thankyou for widening the choice for us practicing CofE parents and I really hope that it works out.
From Nicole on 26/04/2011 at 15:45
We are so excited by this new school. It's a wonderful idea and has our full support. My older boy had to go out of Fulham to Wimbledon to school, I so hope that my younger son has a choice to stay in Fulham.
From Shelly Mereu on 11/04/2011 at 22:47
I just want to reflect back to all those using the term "christian values" how conceited and arrogant you all appear / are. There is not one christian value that is not shared by any decent human of any or no religion. Two values with which most christians like to credit their religion is reconciliation and inclusivity. You lot are expressing exactly the opposite here. REAL christians would be pushing for a non-denominational school.
From Peter Morrison on 07/03/2011 at 22:19
This initiative has my 100% support. The first class teaching at "All Saints Primary School" would be dreadfully wasted if the boys are not able to proceed to an equal standard of learning
From Sue Avery on 05/03/2011 at 18:53
I wholeheartedly support the provision of a secondary school for boys in Fulham, with Christian values. Thanks to all those who have worked so hard to bring the idea this far; let's hope it becomes a reality which the whole community can benefit from.
From Sue on 02/03/2011 at 11:16
I so agree with Peter Morrisson.. faith should not be part of the mix. Keep it at home and not as part of the indoctrination of kids. How many faith schools accept the hypocrisy of having children at their schools from parents who are not religious, never go to church but simply want their children educated.
From J Bond on 01/03/2011 at 12:51
Fulham really, really needs a good, non-fee paying school for boys (but please not faith-restrictive!). Well done to everyone who has put so much energy into this project.
From streets on 27/02/2011 at 07:37
Four years ago an inquiry set up by the local authority found that there was a surplus of secondary school places in Fulham which resulted in the proposal to merge Henry Compton and Fulham Cross schools. Have the demographics of the area changed since to produce a deficit of places and thus the need for a new school in Fulham as proposed by this article?
From Steve on 21/02/2011 at 15:29
Can I ask someone who is part of this group to explain why 2006 data is being used to explain why this school is needed? I have tried to raise this issue by taking part in the consultation but have not had any response. Also, does the group have any ideas as to where the proposed site might be?
From Anton on 21/02/2011 at 12:09
If it was a state secondary that was proposed I would be all for it. But a ''free'' school is to be run privately using tax payers money. Money that should be used to improve and extend our state secondaries in Fulham let alone our primaries. There is no new money for these ''free'' schools so all has to be taken from the existing budget. Private firms will be running such schools not parents and teachers. Just go onto the internet and see them lining up to provide the services that traditionally the local authority has.The Government has said LA cannot provide new schools unless they are academies or ''free'' schools. Please do not become part of the elite private sector using money that should be used for state education. Teachers at ''free'' schools don''t need to be qualified. Scrutiny of finances is lessened and inadequate.
From Jean Roberts on 20/02/2011 at 13:20
Why can''t it just be an excellent free school with values of human decency and tolerance - without the religious alignment. All religions think they have better values than anyone else and the truth is they''re all the same in the end. Catholic and Anglican are the same religion - different doctrines - so this is about indoctrination, not education.
Making this an Anglican, or any reilgion school just extends the fragmentation from which those who would set it up are complaining about in the first place. A few years down the road, some other minority religious group will complain of the same thing. This solves nothing for anyone - only stokes up more of the same problem. Why can''t we just keep religion out of the school altogether and let that happen at home. Surely school''s for education, not indoctrination in a particular religion. Worthwhile values endure more strongly without religion.
From Peter Morrison on 19/02/2011 at 10:51
at last we have a real opportunity to make this a reality. A secondary school for boys in the area with strong Christian values is so needed for those of us that have boys. A very welcome initiative for the community.
From Lucie Avery on 19/02/2011 at 09:00
I have tried to comment but my post seems to have been missed off. This is yet another example of the council giving its backing to a ''school'' being opened on the whim of a group of middle class parents. The two tier system is well and truly taking shape in this borough. What about some backing for the community schools - do their pupils not matter?
From Anton on 18/02/2011 at 17:57
I think it would be wonderful to have a Lady Margaret equivalent for boys - an excellent education with strong Christian values and local - what more could you want?
From Sarah Finn on 18/02/2011 at 12:11
This is a fantastic chance to get a secondary school for boys that local families actively wish to send their sons to. Unless you're a catholic, or only have daughters, or have the finances to go private, there's no option nearby for those of us looking for a secondary school with a christian ethos.
From meriel on 16/02/2011 at 17:44
As Vicar of All Saints, Fulham, I would like to register my strong support for this initiative. If successful, it will strengthen the ability of existing Primary schools in this area to retain boys through KS2 and lead to more boys being educated in Borough through Secondary level. An Inclusive, community based Free Boys Secondary School with strong Christian ethos has to be good news for Fulham!
From The Rev''d Joe Hawes on 16/02/2011 at 15:15
a new local boys'' state secondary school in the south of Fulham is really needed and would be a very welcome development for Fulham parents
From Philip Stinson on 16/02/2011 at 14:57
i think this is a fantatic and much needed initiative. i have two boys at state primary in fulham and would love a good state seconadry school option
From sarah sutherland on 16/02/2011 at 12:08

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