Search

Plan to open new free school in Islington is announced

07:03 23 July 2012

Michael Gove has announced the first free school in Islington

Michael Gove has announced the first free school in Islington

PA Wire/Press Association Images

The first of the government’s controversial free schools to be set up in Islington was announced by education minister Michael Gove on Friday.

Mary Magdelene Academy, in Liverpool Road, Holloway, has been given permission to set up The Courtyard, a special school situated in the old coroner’s court adjacent to the church grounds.

The new school is set to open in September 2013 and will have space for 36 students, aged between 15 and 19, who are highly functioning but have autistic disorder.

Like all free schools it is funded directly by the government rather than the council, and will have freedom to teach what it wants, as long as it’s judged to be fair and balanced.

But some people are critical of free schools, and academies, because they take money away from local authorities.

Ken Muller, assistant branch secretary of Islington National Union of Teachers (NUT), said: “We are totally opposed to free schools because they undermine the school system and give disproportionate amounts of money to these schools at the expense of others in the borough.

“They are also a step toward privatisation of education and away from locally accountable state schools.”

Paul Hollingum, head teacher of Mary Magdelene, said: “There is no private company in the background and we don’t need a lot of capital because we are converting the old coroner’s building.

“The local authority is keen to support us in this and we interviewed a lot of parents who were in favour.

“We are offering something that is desperately needed in the borough and creating much-needed jobs and services.

“It would be terrible to disadvantage these children because of a political agenda.”

0 comments

Latest News Stories

Yesterday, 17:00
cope house

Residents say they will have no escape

Yesterday, 15:30
Islington Park Street protest

A hundred protesters gathered outside a court to “shame” a housing association on Tuesday.

Yesterday, 12:37
Faye Guy starring as Cinderella in the college's Christmas production

An A-level student is celebrating her place at Cambridge University after a dramatic re-mark.

Tue, 12:01
Missing Rafael Gomes is Portuguese and aged just 13 (Photo: Metropolitan Police)

Police are appealing for the public’s help to find Rafael Gomes, a 13-year-old boy who has not been seen since yesterday evening.

Most read news

Competitions

Get ready to take in the beautiful sights of London from above!

Are you always seeking unique ways to see your favourite city? This one is for you.

Shop till you drop!

Home to top name brands at great prices, TK Maxx is more like a treasure hunt than a shop. Perfect for grabbing a bargain or some hidden gems, you arm yourself with a trolley and go wild.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Islington Gazette e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24


Our trusted business finder