Gladstone School pulls out of opening in Brent

Paul Phillips was appointed the principal of Gladstone School

Paul Phillips was appointed the principal of Gladstone School - Credit: Archant

A free school has pulled out of opening in Brent after a fruitless search for a suitable site.

Gladstone School made the announcement last week after plans to build on the grounds of the old William Gladstone School near Gladstone Park, Dollis Hill, were vetoed and a proposal for an alternative site on brownfield land in Neasden also fell through.

In October 2013, Paul Phillips was named as the principal of the school which had planned to open in September 2014.

In a statement on the school’s website Maria Evans, the chair of governors, said: “It is with great regret that we must announce the end of the Gladstone School project, due entirely to a failure to find a suitable site.

“As many of Brent’s parents already know, a change in government policy in 2014 blocked the school’s plans to open in a temporary site at the last minute, forcing us to defer opening.

“A site was identified for a 2015 opening, but in February last year negotiations with the site owner collapsed, along with our chances of opening that year. Since then, no further site has been found, despite the full support of Brent Council who have long recognised the need for more secondary school places.

“Since we first floated the vision of a parent and community led school, we have been met with enthusiasm, interest and support – locally, nationally and indeed internationally. The depth of that support has kept us fighting for a new school for so long. However, faced with the continued absence of a possible site, the decision has been made to cancel the project altogether.

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“We are very sad that we will be disappointing the many parents and young people who responded so warmly to our ideas, and would like to thank you for all your support over the last four years.”