Gladstone School advises parents to look elsewhere for their children's place
PUBLISHED: 15:31 28 April 2014 | UPDATED: 15:40 28 April 2014
Parents who have applied for a place at a free school which plans to open in Brent have been advised to look elsewhere for their child.
Gladstone School (GS) has told families to accept places from other schools as it battles to secure a site in time for the start of the new academic year this September.
If GS does not find a site in time it could leave 120 children in limbo hence the recommendation by Paul Phillips, the school’s principal.
He told the Times: “We are waiting on information from Department for Education on progress for opening in September. We hope to get clarification next week at the latest.
“All parents who were offered conditional places were advised to accept their local authority places as well as Gladstone conditional offers.
“Unless they failed to gain a place through their local authority application no child will be without a school place for September.”
The school had provisionally earmarked the grounds of the old William Gladstone School near Gladstone Park, Dollis Hill, as their potential base.
But the Brent Council owned site is Metropolitan Open Land has the same level of protection as the Metropolitan Green Belt in terms of development and residents campaigned against the idea.
Rumours that it would set up in the former Kilburn campus of the College of North West London in Priory Park Road, were quashed earlier this month when another free school Marylebone Boys’ School announced they would temporarily open on the site.
Sara Williams, Brent Council’s acting director children and families, said: “Gladstone School is a free school and as such the timely opening of the school and site arrangements are for the Department for Education, not the council.
“If this free school does not open, we certainly have enough spare places in existing Brent secondary schools to accommodate all year seven in September.”