WLFS Primary School - 2FE Entry at Cambridge Grove

Tracy Hannigan's picture
I found this Summary of Open Decisions indicating that WLFS has proposed to expand to be an all age school.

I do not recall seeing this school in Nick Gibb's recent response statement listing pending free schools so wonder if it is within the umbrella of the current free school agreement with WLFS (Secondary).

I specifically am wondering what the admissions criteria are going to be.
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Allan Beavis's picture
Fri, 30/12/2011 - 19:51

Nothing to do with data going my way Leonard. It is you and Young who are sidetracking the issue away from the Funding Agreement to fetishising and trolling about FSM data, not me.

I'm glad you brought this up. I've already stated why his conduct is offputting to many people. Toby himself dismissed them as "politically incorrect". It's not just the polarising politics that is so alienating and so inappropriate in a school leader who pleads inclusiveness, it's the way he appears to be bullying. A Chair of Governors mocking diversity in pupils and society? Actually calling people "dunces"? I thought the dunces cap went out in the 50s. Will "SEN" be replaced by "Dunces" in WLFS? This question would never be uttered if he left the vocabulary of "dunces" well alone.

Leonard James's picture
Fri, 30/12/2011 - 19:55

And you have evidence that his comments have turned the disadvantaged against the WLFS?

Allan Beavis's picture
Fri, 30/12/2011 - 20:09

I wouldn't call gay, lesbian, politically-to-the-left, "dunces", "Trotsykites" actually "disadvantaged". Good grief Leonard.

Leonard James's picture
Fri, 30/12/2011 - 20:49

Nor would I but the thread where you accused Young of sending offputtingsignals was about free schools not serving the 'disadvantaged'. I thought you were elaborating on this when you were actually changing the subject.

Allan Beavis's picture
Fri, 30/12/2011 - 20:59

I’m sorry that’s how you interpret text Leonard but I find equating minorities who don’t confirm with “disadvantaged” not just insufferable but dangerous.

Leonard James's picture
Fri, 30/12/2011 - 21:12

Good for you. Now perhaps you would like to explain where I have done such a thing? I am more than happy to clarify any statements that you are unsure about.

Allan Beavis's picture
Sat, 31/12/2011 - 08:48

No need for clarification. Your comments speak for themselves Leonard. At no point do I link Young's offputting statements to the disadvantaged. It is you, I'm afraid, who showed your true colours by equating the disadvantaged with minorities or those with challenges.

Leonard James's picture
Sat, 31/12/2011 - 09:27

I see so on the thread about free schools not serving the disadvantaged you accusation that Young was sending out 'offputting signals' to 'undesirables' had nothing to do with disadvantaged children at all?

If Youngs comments were always aimed at Gays etc why didn't you say so at the time? And perhaps you could answer my original question - do you have evidence that Youngs comments about Gays etc has affected the proportion of FSM children (i.e. disadvantaged children) at his school.

P.S I am, and always have, considered 'disadvantaged' to mean poor children NOT an umbrella term for the minority groups you mentioned. Please ask if you don't unferstand what I mean instead of lowering yourself to ad hominems.

Allan Beavis's picture
Sat, 31/12/2011 - 10:03

You're just digging yourself in deeper now. Enough said. No excuses, as the Gove would say.

Leonard James's picture
Sat, 31/12/2011 - 10:29

Perhaps you would like to explain how I am digging myself a deeper hole? I am merely asking you to explain your accusations against Mr. Young and the WLFS.

Toby Young's picture
Sat, 31/12/2011 - 11:10

Leonard, It's often hard to grasp what point Allan is making because he's such an angry person. Often, he just vents, running several points together and not bothering with spelling or grammar. I think his accusation against me – one of them, anyway – is that the humour piece I wrote in the Spectator about LGBT week at SNS was deliberately intended to put off lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered teachers from applying for staff positions and parents of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered 11-year-olds from applying to the school. That's right isn't it Allan? And the reason I did this is because I'm a "homophobe".

It's such a ludicrous argument it's not worth responding to. But one thing I am curious about. If you call someone who takes the mickey out of LGBT week at SNS a "homophobe", Allan, what do you call the BNP skinhead who beats a gay man to death? If you bandy the term about too much aren't you in danger of diluting its meaning and, by extension, making the vice it describes seem less heinous?

Allan Beavis's picture
Sat, 31/12/2011 - 11:52

I may be angry and easy prey for your cheap jibes at my grammatical errors, but why are you not publishing your Funding Agreement?

A few weeks after your "humorous" piece appeared in the Spectator, East End Pride - which would have included Hackney on its route - was cancelled at the last minute when it was discovered that members of the EDL had infiltrated the organising committee with an aim to incite hatred against gays amongst extreme Muslims.

During the weeks that your "satirical" piece appeared, Hackney and Tower Hamlets was plastered with homophobic stickers. At the same time Elly Barnes at Stoke Newington School - The IoS most influential LGBT person - was organising the LGBT concert you did not attend but chose to mock, in her continuing work to encourage social cohesion and eradicate homophobia.

You continued your assault on your Telegraph blog, where you were certain of a more sympathetic hearing but which unearthed once again the type of hatred that in more extreme hearts leads exactly to the kind of homophobic killings you speak of. It is not just the BNP skinheads. It is young people who do not look like killers.

I did not call you a "homophobe" so don't put words in my mouth but you were sufficiently worried about being thus labelled that you wrote a grovelling comment to an internet magazine in which you attempted to dig yourself out of a very unpleasant hole.

My argument is not ludicrous. What is ludicrous is that you fail to acknowledge, especially as a school founder and Chair of Governors of a school in charge of children, is that your casual attack on LGBT people is not just deeply offensive to them but raises concerns about which other minorities you would casually mock and exclude. I don't think the parents of statemented children would embrace your using the terms "dunces" would they? Or was that you being satirical again?

Worse than the offence caused, your articles encourage homophobia because those who do end up excluding, bullying gay men or women or even killing them read what you write and are assured that their opinions and behavior are acceptable.

So whilst Elly Barnes is awarded for her work in eradicating homophobia amongst schoolchildren, the children at your school can access articles written by Toby Young, their founder and Chair, which encourage homophobia.

You ask if bandying the term too much may dilute its meaning. In the film "The Accused", the men who stood and cheered the violation of a woman in a bar were as culpabale as the men who actually raped her.

A guest's picture
Sat, 31/12/2011 - 13:04

Why is it ok to take the 'mickey'out of LGBT week in a national magazine? I ask the students who I work with to think carefully about their language when they refer to things as ' that's a bit gay'. Yes this is banter between kids but language is powerful and sets a tone. Actually they are responsive to me challenging them and we have interesting discussions about words and phrases that were once deemed acceptable but are not now.

Janet Lallysmith's picture
Sat, 31/12/2011 - 15:00

But you have responded to the argument. By saying that maybe you're not as homphobic as 'the BNP skiinhead who beats a gay man to death'.

I had no previous knowledge about your 'humour piece' in the Spectator, and your representation of it isn't flattering.

Janet Lallysmith's picture
Sat, 31/12/2011 - 15:03

I agree with you. Language is very powerful and if you write as a known name for national press you'd have to be profoundly thick-skinned, short of intelligent material or simply not care about the effect of your words.

Or all three, of course.

Leonard James's picture
Sat, 31/12/2011 - 12:06

Perhaps some links to the material in question would be prudent here so people can make up their own minds.

Janet Downs's picture
Sat, 31/12/2011 - 13:57

The link below gives access to a previous discussion and links to article.


That said, discussing this issue risks drawing attention from the main point of this thread: the non-publication of the Funding Agreement for WLFS.

Tracy Hannigan's picture
Sat, 31/12/2011 - 15:42

Actually the main point of this thread was not about the funding agreement nor free school meals! It was about potential admissions policies of a free primary school (which may or may not have been in the existing funding agreement)- now that its been settled as a totally seperate entity can I please ask that those who cannot refrain from bringing up every other issue under the sun please go make another thread? I really want to discuss this issue!!

Toby Young's picture
Sat, 31/12/2011 - 17:38

There's nothing in our Funding Agreement about primary provision, Tracy. As I've said (twice) we're not applying to extend the age range of the school, but submitting a separate, stand-alone application in February of next year to set up a free, 2FE primary school in LBHF. We haven't finalised the admissions policy yet, but I imagine it will be straight-line distance. There's no question that there's acute basic need. Even if we get the go ahead, there still won't be a sufficient number of primary school places to accommodate the anticipated demand in LBHF in 2013.

Can I ask why you're so interested? Are you a mother of a child that will be starting primary school in 2013? And do you live in Hammersmith? If so, can I ask you to fill in the questionnaire that will shortly be published on the WLFS website (www.wlfs.org)? We need to establish "evidence of demand" as part of our application.

Janet Downs's picture
Sun, 01/01/2012 - 09:13

Toby - you have said (twice) that you are not applying to extend the age range of WLFS but submitting a separate, stand-alone application. But this is not the impression of the local council who wrote:

"That the Cabinet Member for Children’s Services endorses the West London Free School’s proposal to expand to become an all-age school and develop a two form entry primary school (as part of that provision)."

According to the Council, the intention of providing the primary school is so that WLFS can become an all-age school and the primary school will be "part of that provision" ie part of the existing school. I ask again - has the Council got it wrong? If so, how do you account for the misunderstanding? And if the Council is correct in its assumption that WLFS will become an all-age school, will the current admission criteria stand or will there be an extra criterion allowing for pupils in the primary school to progress to the secondary school (which brings up back to Tracy's original question about admissions)?

It's interesting that you should be asking Tracy to complete a questionnaire which will be used as "evidence of demand". Will this mean that any response to the questionnaire could be used to provide this evidence even if the response is negative?

Tracy Hannigan's picture
Sat, 31/12/2011 - 18:21

Hi Toby - I did get what you had said earlier about it not being an extension but rather a seperate venture - My response got lost in the rest of the thread somewhere !

I do live in Hammersmith and Fulham. When you open the primary, will you be doing Year 1 as well as reception?

Rosie Fergusson's picture
Tue, 10/01/2012 - 14:22

Now here’s a conundrum. On 20th Dec Mr Gibb, Schools MInister, provided a written answer to a parliamentary question on Free Schools Finance ;
Question from Annette Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what methodology his Department uses in respect of the calculation of revenue funding for free schools; how much he has allocated to each free school in 2011-12; and how many pupils were enrolled in each school as at September 2011.
Evasive Answer: Mr Gibb [holding answer 19 October 2011]: “Annual revenue funding for free schools is equivalent to that received by maintained schools and academies in the same local authority area.We estimate that the free schools which opened in September 2011 have over 3,000 pupils enrolled in total. Information about the number of children on roll at each school will be collected in the annual school census and published in due course.”
He then provided a schedule of the 2011-12 fundign for all the Free schools open so far which totalled £18,473000.
Think this ace accountant may have made a mistake somewhere in claiming comparable funding with existing schools as this averages £6157 / free school pupil ; compare to existing schools in Leeds Bradford get roughly £4000 plus £300 per pupil if they convert .
WLFS got £825,000 .
The well-established 100 year old Sandbach school of 1200 pupils got £4077.50 p per pupil as a free school so it seems fair to say that the NEW-build Free Schools are currently getting well over their fair share of funding as they build up their pupil numbers.
All at the expense of the funding of existing schools.
Still lets put in in perspective 3000 pupils, mainly primary is only 0.05% of the school population..long may it continue that way .

Janet Downs's picture
Tue, 10/01/2012 - 15:33

Toby - you wrote (31/12/2010) “As I’ve said (twice) we’re not applying to extend the age range of the school, but submitting a separate, stand-alone application in February of next year to set up a free, 2FE primary school in LBHF.”

Today (10/01/2011) you wrote: “We’re going to submit an application to set up the WLFS primary as a new free school then, assuming it’s approved, join the primary and secondary schools together to create an all-through school.”

Perhaps you could explain how an all-through school is not an extension of the age range of WLFS.

Toby Young's picture
Tue, 10/01/2012 - 15:39

You asked if we were applying to extend the age range of the school which we're not doing. I took you to mean are we applying to do that rather than applying to set up a stand-alone free primary school. It's an option we considered, but rejected. It's actually more transparent to apply to set up a stand-alone primary that you're proposing to join to your secondary than simply to apply to extend your age range since we'll be obliged to consult about it in the normal manner, just like every other new free school application. Just asking the Secretary of State to vary the Funding Agreement of the WLFS secondary school to allow us to admit 4-11-year-olds – thereby releasing us from the obligation to submit a separate application – would have been less transparent with less opportunity for the local authority and neighbouring schools to feed back. I would have thought you'd approve, Janet.

Tracy Hannigan's picture
Tue, 10/01/2012 - 18:38

Hi Toby - may I ask why the trust rejected going that route? Was it transparency alone or were there other considerations (and if so can you share them?). I think especially in this situation it is absolutely critical that local schools are allowed a meaningful voice in the construction of the proposal and admissions.

Toby Young's picture
Tue, 10/01/2012 - 22:17

I didn't mean to suggest we decided to go the more complex route in the interests of greater transparency. I was merely pointing out that that was one of the consequences. I wasn't aware that the SoS was obliged to consult locally before approving an application by an academy to vary its age range. The point remains that our application to set up a second free school will be subjected to closer scrutiny than a simple application to vary our age range would. We have to submit what amounts to an outline business case that's then assessed by a panel of experts within the DfE. If they give us the thumbs up, we then have to come in for an interview. Assuming we get beyond that hurdle, we still have to compete with all the other free school groups who've reached that stage with only a fraction being approved at the end of the process. We then have to consult locally. To be honest, I would have preferred to go the simpler route if only to save time, but we were advised by the DfE to go this way instead. We could have dug in, but I've learnt to pick my battles.

Tracy Hannigan's picture
Wed, 18/01/2012 - 18:00

Hi Toby. I'm well aware of the process but I must say I do find this dissapointing. To be honest, because you were first past the post and Gove loves you there is very little chance that you will not succeed - yet you make noises like you prefer expediency over transparency and community consultation. If someone were installing a 400plus strong school on your doorstep would you not have an issue with not being asked, just because it was easier for the person who wanted it done? If the whole process is supposed to be about meeting community demand and need and giving people what they want, don't you need consultation to do/determine that?

Janet Downs's picture
Tue, 10/01/2012 - 17:38

Toby - so to recap: WLFS is not applying to extend the age range but the end result will be that it will have extended its age range to become an all-age school. The Council recognised this when they endorsed "the West London Free School’s proposal to expand to become an all-age school and develop a two form entry primary school (as part of that provision)."

WLFS is applying to open a "stand-alone" school which won't exactly be a "stand-alone" provision because it will be joined to the existing school to make one school. WLFS is doing this because it is more "transparent" to apply to open a "stand-alone" school which won't be a "stand-alone" school when it's opened.

I am not sure that the Secretary of State can just be asked to vary a Funding Agreement to allow an all-age school. DfE guidelines clearly state: “Where individual academies make a request to the Secretary of State to expand their pupil numbers and/or age range, this will only be done following local consultation." So the rules about local consultation still apply.

However, you seem to be suggesting that Governors/Trustees could just ask the SoS to change the Funding Agreement. If this is so, then the ability to change Funding Agreements would be in the gift of the SoS. Is this really so? If it is, then it is very worrying.

Toby Young's picture
Tue, 10/01/2012 - 17:43

That's always been the case, Janet. A Funding Agreement can be changed, within reason, provided both the Secretary of State and the Academy Trust in question consent to that change.

Tracy Hannigan's picture
Fri, 13/01/2012 - 21:46

Well, the SoS can change things if he wants and if the Trust doesn't agree, well they can be defunded. Consent isn't really required - but then the consequence is naturally no funding!

May I ask why you were asking on twitter about the Admissions Code for 2013? What's the plan?

Janet Lallysmith's picture
Sat, 14/01/2012 - 11:26

My point is that some parents seem to have the right to a contribution about the future of particular schools and others are deemed unworthy.

Rosie Fergusson's picture
Wed, 11/01/2012 - 10:45

Thanks for link...I hadn't spotted the deviation but fortunately David Wolfe has i.e that school founders get second dibs ( after cared for children) .The school already openly states they can't take kids with physical disabilities.


QUOTE from above link
“If the College is under-subscribed, all applications will be accepted. Where the College is over-subscribed, applications will be considered against the criteria set out below, after the admission of students with a statement of Special Education Need that names the College. Places will be allocated to applicants in the following priority order:

Children who are looked after by a local authority (in public care)
Children whose parents are Founders of the College
Applicants who meet the criteria for Faith Places (up to 50% of total places)
Applicants who meet the criteria for Community Places”
It then says this:

“Founders of the college are defined as the Proposers, and those who have provided specific assistance, advice, guidance or support to the Proposers in the preparation of the Application and Business Case for the College.”

A tired pragmatism may argue if school founders have worked their arses off and their kids are a small temporary proportion of intake then fair enough .

BUT what abuse is this open to ....can it be extended beyond the founding of the school and apply to any prospective parent who's cannily been doing the school lawn mowing voluntarily for the last two years.?

Rosie Fergusson's picture
Wed, 11/01/2012 - 11:38

Link to Nick " what's core funding again" GIbb's written answers re Free School funding i.e the £18 mill spent on 3000 pupils is below but has taken some time to track down - you have to go via " Commons Debate by Date" and know the date in question ( 20th dec 2012) .


The formal Hansard Archive of written answers hasn't been updated since 2010...damn cuts .

Marigold Doyle's picture
Fri, 13/01/2012 - 21:42

It's fab, isn't it? If you know nothing about education but just fancy a bash at it, the S if S is happy to hand over millions of tax payers money (I'd like to give an exact figure, but that funding agreement, Toby....) and shift the goal posts about to suit both of you. If you have years of collective experience and are the governing body of an improving community school, the S of S gives you a couple of week's notice that he's going to disband you, not only with no local consultation, but completely against the wishes of the school community (see forced academy threads).

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