Bitter feud over Hornsey Rise free school could finally be at an end

The old Ashmount site has been mired in controversy for years.

The old Ashmount site has been mired in controversy for years. - Credit: Archant

A bitter feud over a new free school could finally be at an end after a deal was thrashed out.

The future of the former Ashmount site, in Ashmount Road, Hornsey Rise, has been steeped in controversy ever since it moved to a new £16.5million premises in Crouch Hill.

Islington Council wanted to use the site for housing, creating homes and raising cash from the sale, and says the extra school places are not needed.

Meanwhile the owners claim the new school is popular with parents and its entry year is oversubscribed.

Now a final deal has been agreed, with roughly half the site used for housing and 25 additional places being found at the new school for children with sever learning difficulties.


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Joe Caluori, Islington Council’s executive member for children and families said: “A year ago we faced losing 82 affordable family homes and £3million in capital funding for our schools so that the Department for Education (DfE) could open a free school for which there is absolutely no need in the area.

“We made our opposition clear and whilst obviously this is a decision solely for the Secretary of State, representations made by politicians, parents, teachers and unions have helped the DfE see sense and agree to the deal we suggested earlier this year.”

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Part of the agreement with the DfE includes eight new residential spaces for needs, including 8 residential places for children with special needs elsewhere in the borough.

Cllr Calouri said: “I believe we have achieved an acceptable outcome.”

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