The Mayor of London Boris Johnson today announced that he has secured a permanent home for The Fulham Boys School, which will create an additional 800 secondary school places and further deliver on his promise to help alleviate pressure on the capital’s classrooms. The free school is expected to move into its purpose-built new home on the site of the underutilised Fulham Police Station in September 2017.
The Mayor made a commitment to find a suitable home for Fulham Boys School in the local area last year, which led to it being given approval to open by the Department for Education. The size and location of the site – together with the fact that only 35 per cent of the building is currently in use – make it an ideal site for the school.
The Education Funding Agency (EFA) has now agreed to purchase the underused police building from MOPAC, enabling top class education facilities to be built for Fulham Boys School. The site will remain home to a policing front counter, fulfilling the Mayor’s commitment to the residents of Fulham in his police and crime plan.
The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: ‘I’m delighted that this under-used police station is going to provide an excellent and much-needed home for Fulham Boys School. The new free school will be a real community asset, giving 800 more pupils the opportunity to have a top-class education and I am pleased the site will also continue to provide a front-desk policing service for the local area. With continuing pressure on school places, I am committed to helping identify new sites and will do all I can to ensure young Londoners, wherever they live in our city, have access to the highest quality education, regardless of background.’
Fulham Boys School is a Church of England secondary school, which was set up in response to local parental demand and is currently based in temporary accommodation in Earls Court. Although it is a faith school, it offers half of its places to boys of all faiths and to those of no religious background. With a rigorous academic curriculum and a firm discipline policy, Fulham Boys School’s focus is on personal, social and business enterprise as well as providing top-class opportunities for its pupils to get involved in a range of sport, including football, rugby, cricket and rowing.
The school’s targets for success for all of its pupils are set significantly above local authority and national norms. There is high demand for places at the school and its new home will alleviate this pressure. This September, there were 266 applications for 120 Year 7 places alone, meaning that it is nearly two times oversubscribed.
Once refurbished for the new school, the site will also become home to a front desk policing facility, and the proceeds from the sale of the underused Fulham Police Service will be reinvested in frontline policing. This is part of MOPAC’s drive to provide a more efficient, cost-effective and modern police service.
Chairman of Governors at The Fulham Boys School, Alex Wade, said: ‘We set out six years ago to provide an outstanding boys’ school for Fulham and I am delighted this news confirms our permanent presence in the heart of the borough. On behalf of the school’s founders, parents, pupils, staff and friends, I’d like to thank everyone who has made this possible.’
The Mayor has now surpassed his 2012 manifesto promise to use GLA assets to identify sites for ten free schools. Free schools are playing a central role in the provision of much-needed school places across the capital, as well as helping to raise London’s education standards. London already has the highest number of free schools in the country – 107 out of a national total of 304. The Mayor has also secured sites for a new academy and a University Technical College (UTC).
As London’s population grows, there is increasing pressure on school places – with 30,000 more needed by next year alone. The Mayor is continuing his work with the Department for Education, the London Legacy Development Corporation and the capital’s boroughs to ensure London can meet this challenge.