Statement on the Fulham Boys School by Greg Hands MP, 2nd July 2014

"I am very disappointed that the Fulham Boys School has not been given approval to open its doors in September. I have been a strong supporter of the new school for some years now, and this week’s news will come as a big blow to the parents and the boys who were hoping to start at the new school in September.

"I have been speaking with Ministers Michael Gove and Lord Nash before and since the decision, to help make the case for the Fulham Boys School. They have made clear to me that they feel they had little choice, given there was no guarantee, or even confidence, in finding a permanent site for the school in the short time frame available, now that the viability of the Sulivan site has been brought into question by the Council. Whilst I am disappointed with this decision, parents and local people should understand that it is a direct consequence of the new, Labour Council in Hammersmith & Fulham reversing policy on the merger of Sulivan and New King’s Schools, which would have provided the extra school places on the available site on Peterborough Road. In order words, it was the Labour Council that cancelled the availability of the new site, which the Department felt left them with no choice but to postpone the opening of the school.

"I am confident that had there still been a Conservative council in Hammersmith & Fulham, that the school could have been built on the Peterborough Road site and opened on each of the temporary and the permanent sites in the timeframes required.

"However, the most important thing now is to do everything we can to find a new permanent site, or to get the Council to re-consider its new proposal for the Sulivan site. I am hoping we can now all work together to find a site for the Fulham Boys School and deliver some real progress on finding a new, permanent site, as soon as possible for local parents.

"I spoke again with Lord Nash this morning, and he has agreed to meet me and the Chairman of Governors of the Fulham Boys School in the coming days to discuss where we can go from here. I repeat my offer to Hammersmith & Fulham Council, to also meet them and to work together in helping to find a new site."