Labour-run Hammersmith and Fulham Council refused to give clear backing to Capco extending from two years to three years for the Gibbs Green site for Fulham Boys School. This was a key decision. If the school had been secure for three years then the Department of Education would have allowed it to proceed. It would have tilted the balance, so far as the DFE judgment was concerned, that there would then be enough time to find a permanent site. Labour now deny this but I know it to be true.
At the annual council meeting, on June 16th, Cllr Sue Macmillan, the Cabinet Member for Children and Education, said:
“Too many families in this borough do not get their child into their preferred school. Labour will work with schools of all types. That includes academies, a Labour Government idea, idea, free schools and community schools. In particular I want to highlight the excellent West London Free School and the Phoenix Secondary School. This administration will put parents and children first.”
Some of their hard left supporters – for as Denis Charman from the Nation Union of Teacher looking down from public gallery – might have been alarmed by that.
They needn’t have worried.
Within days Cllr Macmillan had sold the Fulham Boys School down the river. She refused to back extending the lease. Instead plunging nearly a hundred families in borough into despair and chaos when as a direct result of that the Department of Education’s officials advised the school’s future was no longer sufficiently viable to allow the opening to proceed.
Cllr Macmillan revised stance is best summarised by Lewis Carroll:
“I weep for you,” the Walrus said:
“I deeply sympathize.”
With sobs and tears he sorted out
Those of the largest size,
Holding his pocket-handkerchief
Before his streaming eyes.
Labour chose to betray parents and children in our borough. Instead Labour decided to throw in their lot with Mr Charman and the enemies of promise.
All that remains of their Blairite pretesnison is that they won’t admit to what they have done.
But I have put in the following Freedom of Information request:
Please provide all email correspondence since 22/5/14 regarding the Fulham Boys School from Cllr Sue Macmillan, Cllr Stephen Cowan, Andrew Christie and Ian Heggs.
20 working days is the deadline for a response.
20 working days before Labour’s betrayal is exposed.
The Labour MP for Hammersmith, Andrew Sluaghter, has a more straightforward position. A former pupiil at Latymer Upper he wants to stop his constituents getting the sort of education for their children that he beenefited from. Unless they can afford to pay fees. So he has attacked FBS as “yet another free school.” At least he doesn’t pretend to support them…