Free School Aims To Solve Admissions Crisis in Kingston

Plans for a new free primary school in Kingston were revealed last week at a meeting in Tolworth.

The school, which would would eventually offer places from reception to year six, plans to open in 2015 if it gets approval from the Department of Education.

Free schools have recently become controversial because they do not need to follow the national curriculum or employ qualified teachers.

The school will be run by Gems Learning Trust, an approved academy free school sponsor, which said that the organisation has been in conversation with Kingston Council for many months.

Terri De Quincey, Gems Learning Director, said: “It is important that the council are with us and want us to be successful.”

As yet the council has not identified a site that Gems could use for the new school.

Ms De Quincey said that Kingston’s problem is not that there aren’t good schools in the area, but that these schools are bursting at the seams.

She said that it is “about fitting into the community and responding to the need that is coming down the line.”

According to Gems, prospective parents in the area have already expressed interest and have registered their children in the past two weeks.

Their current objective is to make an application to the Department of Education in January.

The admissions process would be the same as for other state schools in the area. 

Gems already run three independent schools in the south east, the nearest of which is Hampshire School near Kensington.

Image courtesy of Rex Features

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