Tuesday, 22 June 2010

West London Free School: Toby Young in Standard

Yesterday's Standard carried a double page feature on the forthcoming West London Free School, viewed by many in Government as one of the flagship schools of the new policy, which will allow parents to establish their own schools.

The school will be based just over the border in Acton but likely attract children from within our borough, and the feature includes interviews with local media personality and School Founder Toby Young, along with other local parents involved.

With a waiting list of 400 already up and running, despite the actual West London Free School being at least a year off construction, the new school has already proved controversial with existing schools, as it will likely relegate them to second choices among many local parents. And despite the fact it is based over the border in Ealing it will be open in theory to parents over on our side of the local authority border too.

So this new school could fundamentally change the nature of local education. I honestly don't know where I stand on this one - dangerous diversion of local resources or worthwhile experiment that puts power in the hands of communities? Either way it's hapenning, so get used to it!

Here's Toby Young on BBC's Newsnight programme talking about the idea:

..and for those of you who really take an interest, here's Michael Gove the Education Secretary of State doing battle with his Labour predecessor Ed Balls on the same subject. Handbags at the ready.


  1. Has the tedious Young actually got a *site* for the damn thing yet? Last time I looked at his blog they hadn't actually found anywhere but it's OK, lots of middle class parents were out with A-Zs looking. Amateurish in the extreme, and deeply worrying that this is apparently a flagship policy.

    Mind you, Gove is demonstrably a moron.

  2. Not to my knowledge, no - but I do know some of those involved read this blog so those people should feel free to share any more details they have!

  3. Apparently the site is the former King Fahed Girls school in Little Ealing Lane, ironically quite a long way from Toby and his chums in W3,W12 & W6. Although some of the members of the steering group have changed since formation, as the picture and profiles show they remain predominently white, male and middle class...........Iain Muir