Greg Hands M.P. is calling on residents to get behind plans for a new Fulham Boys School. A group of Fulham parents need local support to set up a new Church of England free school for boys aged 11 to 18 years.
School organisers will be submitting their proposals to the Secretary of State for Education next month and parents are being urged to register their support now. If successful, the secondary school, based in Fulham, would open with its first intake of Year 7 boys in September 2013.
The Fulham Boys School organisers aim to provide an outstanding, enterprising education for boys, set within a framework of Christian values and striving for academic excellence.
Alex Wade, chairman of the group, said: “From speaking to parents locally, it is clear there’s very real demand for more choice at secondary level, for boys in particular. Fulham hasn’t got a secondary faith school for boys, other than the excellent but heavily oversubscribed Oratory School, and our ambition is to fill this gap with an outstanding school, with inspirational teaching planned specifically to bring out the best in boys.”
Whilst the plans are for a Church of England school, organisers are actively encouraging support from across the community. Their vision is for a truly inclusive school with at least half of the places each year open to applicants of all faiths and none.
Jonny Ambrose, one of the school’s sponsors, said: “We know the funding for new free schools is tough, and while we’re confident in the strength of our proposals we are going to need your support to persuade the Department of Education that a Church of England boys’ secondary school is needed and will have a positive effect locally.
"We won't be able successfully to create Fulham Boys School without your help. In particular, we need to prove there is a demand from parents of current Year 5 and Year 4 boys - moving to secondary school in 2013 and 2014 respectively.”
School organisers believe that Fulham is well served by faith and non-faith primary schools. It also has an outstanding Church of England girls’ and a Catholic boys’ secondary school. However, there has not been a local Church of England secondary school for boys to progress to for more than 20 years.
Backing the proposals, Fulham and Chelsea M.P. Greg Hands said: “I was elected M.P. for Fulham in 2005 on a platform of creating more secondary school choice, and I have given this proposal for a new Fulham Boys School my wholehearted support. We have some excellent new schools locally, but there is a pressing need for a high quality boys’ Church of England secondary. I urge all residents from SW6 and beyond to register their support.”
Mr Ambrose added: “For parents seeking an education for their sons within a Christian framework of values, the current choices are tough – join the lists for over-subscribed schools out of the borough, move to another borough, of if you can afford it, go private. Quite simply there isn’t enough choice locally.”
Some reports suggest that over half of Fulham children presently go on to secondary education outside the borough. A study carried out by Fulham Boys School found near unanimous agreement that greater choice is needed, for boys in particular.
Mr Wade concluded: “Fulham Boys School will be answering a very real need locally for parents who want their sons to benefit from an education designed specifically to bring out the best in boys and to equip them with the life skills to flourish in the 21st century.”
Please visit the Fulham Boys School website to register your support by 15th February 2012 - www.fulhamboysschool.org.
Once you have registered on the website, it would also be helpful if you could drop Greg a note by email at firstname.lastname@example.org so he can help ensure the Secretary of State for Education knows the level of support for the school locally.