West London Free School
|Headmaster||A S Naismith|
|DfE URN||136750 Tables|
The West London Free School offers children a classical liberal education, that is, it expects every pupil to study a core of academically rigorous subjects, regardless of background or ability, but with plenty of art, music, drama and sport thrown in. On its website it states that it is a school "with high expectations, strong discipline and an academically rigorous curriculum but which is open to all, regardless of income, ability or faith."
The head teacher is Sam Naismith, a former England hockey coach.
The school was formally opened by Mayor of London Boris Johnson in September 2011 and is currently home to 360 pupils. It received over 1,150 applicants for its last 120 places, making it one of the most oversubscribed taxpayer-funded schools in England.
The school is currently based in Cambridge Grove, Hammersmith, but is planning to make its permanent home in Palingswick House on King Street.
It was inspected by Ofsted in July 2013 and was judged to be good with outstanding features.
In addition to criticism of the free school concept generally, the West London Free School was criticised in The Guardian for hoping to make its permanent site Palingswick House in Hammersmith, a building then occupied by a number of community groups. Hammersmith MP Andy Slaughter added his voice to the criticism, arguing that "local people are against the plans", and stating that the school was "ousting 22 charities and a school for severely disabled children in its rush to open".
In response, Toby Young pointed out that Palingswick House was listed for disposal by Hammersmith and Fulham Borough Council long before the West London Free School came into existence and, had the school not subsequently expressed an interest in it, it would likely have been sold off to a property developer and possibly demolished.
Peter Winter, the ex-headmaster of Latymer Upper School, criticised the proposal to base the West London Free School at Palingswick House, a neighbouring property, on the grounds that increased traffic to the area might threaten pupil safety. However, the current head of Latymer Upper School, David Goodhew, has been more supportive.
- The West London Free School has crossed the Rubicon The Telegraph
- The Free School The Independent article
- School information London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham
- West London Free School Prospectus
- West London Free School Staff
- Paton, Gaeme (10 April 2013). "Nine-in-10 of Coalition's free schools oversubscribed". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 6 September 2013.
- West London Free School gets glowing end of term report from Ofsted
- Vasagar, Jeevan (17 January 2011). "Free school plan comes at a price for voluntary groups". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 October 2011.
- www.andyslaughter.co.uk, February 16th, 2011 Retrieved March 2012
- Murray, Janet (15 February 2011). "Anti-free school campaigners seek more transparency". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 October 2011.
- Hodges, Dan (24 February 2011). "Private school head does not want West London Free School as a neighbour/". Fulham and Hammersmith Chronicle. Retrieved 2 October 2011.
- Official website Retrieved March 2012
- West London Free School Foundation Trust, Registered Charity no. 1138194 at the Charity Commission
Retrieved March 2012