Faith-based free school emerges as plan B for Kingston parents

Your Local Guardian: David Campanale said the free school would be non-selective and would be popular with parents David Campanale said the free school would be non-selective and would be popular with parents

A faith-based free school has been proposed to help meet a school places shortfall in Kingston.

If approved by the department of education, King Edward the Martyr's School would be the borough’s first free school.

The non-selective, co-educational school would have a Christian character, but would be open to all regardless of faith, according to the bidders, and will be named in recognition of Kingston's royal heritage as the place where Saxon kings were crowned.

The foundation, which is directed by former councillors Kevin Davis and David Campanale, is in discussion with educational charity Woodard Schools who are considering working with the new school.

The charity, which was founded in 1847, form the largest group of independent Church of England schools in England and Wales and care for more than 30,000 young people.

Mr Campanale said: "We feel we are in a position to offer Kingston parents a very attractive secondary school.

"There will be no selection criteria and therefore we are looking to serve the immediate needs of parents.

"With local support, I believe our proposed school will prove a popular choice."

The foundation has written to the Education Funding Agency, which secures locations for free schools, to request they find suitable premises in the north of the borough.

Mr Campanale said the school size and other details would be dependent on what premises were offered and that the foundation will hold a public consultation into the matter.

The father-of-two, who is a leading member of the Christian People's Alliance party in Kingston, said: "We will need to fill the first forms of entry in the school, that’s the target, a three figure number.

"These are going to be parents who will value a faith-based secondary school education."

Kingston’s executive member for education councillor Liz Green said she could not comment on the free school proposal without knowing more details but said she would not rule out a free school as an alternative option.

Comments (4)

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1:30pm Wed 30 May 12

John 88 says...

The free school would clearly fill a gap following Kingston Councils failed funding bid. North Kingston is unusual due to historic decisions a few decades ago to close the secondary schools in this area (except selective schools).

Now with increased birth rates other secondaries are busier and anyone checking the admissions distance criteria will realise parts of North Kingston are already outside any Kingston secondary catchment area.

Clearly some form of secondary is needed, but where can it go? The only obvious sites are North Kingston Centre, or recently vacated Latchmere prison. Even alternatives eg. empty office space in central Kingston seem a longshot as current fad is to convert to student accomodation.

Perhaps it is time to dust off the alternative sites proposed 3 years ago. Behind Kingsmeadow was only rejected because legal purchase and change of use might time many months (and far end of site might flood every few years). Now the situation seems different as it will be a private group rather than a Council led initative. Perhaps two schools of 5 or 6 form entry would be better solution and easier to fit on sites than the unfunded, crowded 8 form entry on NKC site. (Remember primary expansion is now 8.5 forms permanant plus 6 bulge classes so 8 forms wont be enough)

Lets hope this proposal is taken seriously.
The free school would clearly fill a gap following Kingston Councils failed funding bid. North Kingston is unusual due to historic decisions a few decades ago to close the secondary schools in this area (except selective schools). Now with increased birth rates other secondaries are busier and anyone checking the admissions distance criteria will realise parts of North Kingston are already outside any Kingston secondary catchment area. Clearly some form of secondary is needed, but where can it go? The only obvious sites are North Kingston Centre, or recently vacated Latchmere prison. Even alternatives eg. empty office space in central Kingston seem a longshot as current fad is to convert to student accomodation. Perhaps it is time to dust off the alternative sites proposed 3 years ago. Behind Kingsmeadow was only rejected because legal purchase and change of use might time many months (and far end of site might flood every few years). Now the situation seems different as it will be a private group rather than a Council led initative. Perhaps two schools of 5 or 6 form entry would be better solution and easier to fit on sites than the unfunded, crowded 8 form entry on NKC site. (Remember primary expansion is now 8.5 forms permanant plus 6 bulge classes so 8 forms wont be enough) Lets hope this proposal is taken seriously. John 88

2:09pm Wed 30 May 12

John 88 says...

One thing I forgot to mention earlier was the need for alternative schools in North Kingston will increase following Richmond Councils recent announcement that admission numbers at Greycourt are being cut from 240 to 200 after 2013 as part of the decision to have a sixth form there.
One thing I forgot to mention earlier was the need for alternative schools in North Kingston will increase following Richmond Councils recent announcement that admission numbers at Greycourt are being cut from 240 to 200 after 2013 as part of the decision to have a sixth form there. John 88

8:46am Sun 3 Jun 12

N crew says...

If you care about having a Kingston non faith non selective co ed secondary school, then please sign this online petition at: http://epetition.kin
gston.public-i.tv/ep
etition_core/view/No
rthKingstonSecondary
School#div_sigs

There is also a new pressure group, Kingston secondary schools action group, via facebook which has downloadable campaign letters and contacts page!

Also Kingston schools lost link with teddington not just grey court. We've also got to ask why tiffin girls is still being funded by Kingston residents but won't offer more places to local children. Either they open up or should be funded another way so Kingston can pay for a school for it's own children!
If you care about having a Kingston non faith non selective co ed secondary school, then please sign this online petition at: http://epetition.kin gston.public-i.tv/ep etition_core/view/No rthKingstonSecondary School#div_sigs There is also a new pressure group, Kingston secondary schools action group, via facebook which has downloadable campaign letters and contacts page! Also Kingston schools lost link with teddington not just grey court. We've also got to ask why tiffin girls is still being funded by Kingston residents but won't offer more places to local children. Either they open up or should be funded another way so Kingston can pay for a school for it's own children! N crew

8:46am Sun 3 Jun 12

N crew says...

If you care about having a Kingston non faith non selective co ed secondary school, then please sign this online petition at: http://epetition.kin
gston.public-i.tv/ep
etition_core/view/No
rthKingstonSecondary
School#div_sigs

There is also a new pressure group, Kingston secondary schools action group, via facebook which has downloadable campaign letters and contacts page!

Also Kingston schools lost link with teddington not just grey court. We've also got to ask why tiffin girls is still being funded by Kingston residents but won't offer more places to local children. Either they open up or should be funded another way so Kingston can pay for a school for it's own children!
If you care about having a Kingston non faith non selective co ed secondary school, then please sign this online petition at: http://epetition.kin gston.public-i.tv/ep etition_core/view/No rthKingstonSecondary School#div_sigs There is also a new pressure group, Kingston secondary schools action group, via facebook which has downloadable campaign letters and contacts page! Also Kingston schools lost link with teddington not just grey court. We've also got to ask why tiffin girls is still being funded by Kingston residents but won't offer more places to local children. Either they open up or should be funded another way so Kingston can pay for a school for it's own children! N crew

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