This is the full text of the email from Ian Heggs mentioned in the meeting 20th Jan – it clearly states Fulham Boys preference for our site. In the case of non-publicly accessible email addresses, the email addresses have been redacted.
From: Heggs Ian [mailto:Ian.Heggs@lbhf.gov.uk]
Sent: 24 November 2013 16:49
To: ‘Peter Craig’; ‘WENDY ALDRIDGE email redacted’; ‘ROSIEWAIT email redacted’
Cc: ‘NICK BOTTERILL email redacted’; Cllr Georgie Cooney (icloud); Cllr Binmore Helen; Christie Andrew
Subject: RE: Condition surveys
Thank you for your email. With regard to your query about whether a feasibility study has been undertaken to ascertain whether New King’s could be adapted to house Fulham Boys’ School, I should clarify that it would not be for the Council to undertake such a study for a free school. This function would sit with the Education Funding Agency, whose responsibility it is to undertake the due diligence it deems necessary before entering into a lease or purchase agreement for a site for a new free school. The Council can confirm, however, that when the question of the suitability of the New King’s School site for Fulham Boys’ School was raised by the chief executive of the London Diocesan Board of Schools, it gave its view as follows:
‘The Council’s Schools of Choice agenda is about providing more choice for parents. We agree with the diocese that there is evidence of strong demand for a new CoE boys’ school in Fulham and we are equally committed to supporting Fulham Boys’ School with its search for a site. If the proposals proceed, the Council has made clear that it would see the Sulivan site as more suitable for a new secondary school for 800 boys, rather than the smaller New King’s site. With regard to the alternative proposal you have put forward, I would make the following comments:
- · Planning is of the view that the New King’s building ought to be on the merit list, and that if there were any hint of possible demolition, then both Planning and English Heritage would be extremely concerned. By contrast, an extensive refurbishment programme would enhance this prized school building, as well as improving its external facilities.
- · If the proposals go ahead and if the Sulivan site becomes available, the EFA has committed to spending in the region of £13.5m to build a new secondary school for the benefit of children and parents in Hammersmith and Fulham. This constitutes a considerable investment in education in Fulham and would improve choice for parents
- · The current proposal would be carefully planned to ensure that there would be minimum disruption to children’s education whilst the works were underway. The Council believes that there are significant long-term benefits both to this proposal and to the aligned proposal for New King’s to convert to academy status working with Thomas’s.
Finally, I should add that I spoke to Alex Wade, the founder of the Fulham Boys’ School last week and he confirmed that he was not aware of your alternative proposal and that it had not been discussed with him. He also confirmed that, should the proposals go ahead, he did not see your alternative plan as workable and that the clear preference of the Fulham Boys’ School governors and headteacher would be for a new secondary school on the larger and more suitable Sulivan site.’
This is an excerpt from an email I sent to Inigo Woolf on 22 September.
I hope you find this information helpful. Do let me know if you have any further questions.