Posted on 16/07/2014
Free school wins battle to open
An agonizing fortnight has ended in triumph for The Fulham Boys School’s parents, boys and staff.
The families that had been scrambling for school places following the Department for Education’s shock decision to pull the plug on FBS’s September opening, have this morning (16 July) been told that their school will go ahead, as planned.
Chairman Alex Wade said: “We’re delighted sense has prevailed. Whatever the agonies we’ve all been through, the ‘can do’ spirit shown by FBS parents, boys, and staff, has been quite remarkable in setting the foundations for a unique school. My thanks go to Greg Hands MP in particular, who has been with us from the start and has been a continual support in the last two weeks. Thanks also to the Department for Education for their work in reviewing their decision, to the Mayor of London for his intervention and to Councillors for their engagement in recent weeks”
Alun Ebenezer, FBS headmaster, commented “I’ve gone on the record as saying FBS will be an outstanding school within two years. We can now start on the hard work of getting FBS set on the road to becoming one of the best schools in the country”.
FBS parent and founder, Deborah De Long said “This is unbelievably good news; what a huge relief. My son is over the moon. He’s been saying he only wants FBS. I couldn’t have given him better news in his final few days of primary school.”
DfE had taken its initial decision for FBS to defer its opening because of uncertainties over permanent site. Following a high profile campaign and surge of public support for FBS, a series of meetings with local and central government found a solution. The Mayor of London has proposed a number of potential permanent site options. FBS will thus open as planned with nearly 100 Year 7 boys this September, then build year on year until it reaches its full capacity in 2020.
The places originally allocated to FBS boys remain open for them, regardless of any other offer they may have accepted in the last two weeks. There are also additional places for 2014 and any parent interested should contact their local authority. Applications for 2015 admission will be opening on 1 September as part of the pan-London co-ordinated admissions process.
FBS will be opening at Gibbs Green, North Fulham, for at least two years. It will then move to its permanent home, details of which will be announced later.