Free primary school in Kilburn will offer uniform discounts for the poorest families

Helen Richardson (Pic credit: Angela Blake)

Helen Richardson (Pic credit: Angela Blake) - Credit: Archant

A new free primary school in Kilburn will offer a 50 per cent discount off its uniform to the poorest families, its headteacher has revealed.

The uniform for Kilburn Grange School (Pic credit: Angela Blake)

The uniform for Kilburn Grange School (Pic credit: Angela Blake) - Credit: Archant

In an unusual step, Kilburn Grange School in Priory Park Road, is halving the costs for children entitled to free school meals in time for its opening in September.

Helen Richardson said they will also offer a discount for the host of after school clubs planned, including yoga, ballet, football, and a choir, for the low-income families.

She said: “To come to a school like this where it’s a blend of the independent and the state those families will get to have those sorts of privileges that perhaps they wouldn’t in other state schools. We’re going for that blazer, very smart look for example.

“There’s a similar demographic, very, very diverse and that’s one of the reasons I came to this school but I do want to make a difference to those pupils.

The school is currently based in Kilburn

The school is currently based in Kilburn - Credit: Archant

“Parents don’t have to pay to come here but children should have the same opportunities.”

The two-form entry co-educational school will grow annually with fresh intakes of four-year-olds so that by 2022 it will have 430 pupils.

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It is managed by the Bellevue Place Education Trust, which already has three free schools, and plans to open a further four including Kilburn Grange next year.

This is Ms Richardson’s first time as a headteacher having been a deputy in her last role in a local authority primary school in Stratford, east London.

She said: “It’s an ambitious step to do this, starting a school from scratch, but one where I can put my stamp on it, recruit my own staff,” she said.

With her seven staff ready to go Ms Richardson said she will only employ teachers who have a recognised qualification and will follow the national curriculum but remain flexible to changes.

“It’s a seven year project - by 2022 the school will be full and the children I take now will leave,” she added.

“When they do it will be the proudest day of my life and one of the saddest as well as I will have watched them grow all the way.”

Admissions are currently being handled by Brent Council but Ms Richardson said the school’s ‘free’ status will allow greater flexibility in accessing all kinds of services.

The school will boast state-of-the-art facilities including interactive “CTouch” boards and ipads for pupils.

Its site in the former campus of the College of North West London is currently a temporary home for another free school for boys aged 11 and over.

However Marylebone Boys’ School will relocated to Paddington Basin in 2016 meaning for a year both will share the same site.

She said: “

Until July 17 the school is running free Stay & Play sessions with stories, games and activities for pre-schoolers and babies on Friday mornings and offering taster sessions in Mandarin.

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