A world renowned sailor has expressed her shock at the council’s ‘ridiculous’ plans to close a good primary school.
Tracy Edwards, who won international fame in 1989 as the skipper of the first all female crew to sail around the world, is the first big name to back the Save Our Sulivan campaign .
Hundreds of parents, staff and pupils are fighting to stop Hammersmith and Fulham Council shutting the school in Peterborough Road, Fulham, and merging it with nearby New King’s.
The council intends to offer the site as the permanent home for the Fulham Boys School, a new free school.
People have until Wednesday to respond to the council’s final consultation.
Tracy, who lives in Putney and has a 13-year-old daughter, came across the Save Our Sulivan campaign on Twitter.
As a motivational speaker and patron of Regenerate, a charity working with disadvantaged young people in Roehampton, she was keen to visit the school on Monday (Dec 2).
She told the Chronicle: “It’s ridiculous. I don’t have a problem with some of the changes (education secretary) Michael Gove is introducing, he’s being proactive and trying to fix our education system.
“But to close a successful, happy and wonderful little school like this that everyone seems to love – it seems crazy.
“The council has got to listen to this school’s voice. I’m so shocked they’re behaving like this.”
Headteacher Wendy Aldridge urged people to show their support in the last few days before the consultation ends.
“The support for our campaign has been phenomenal,” she said. “The fight is not over. We have until December 11 to put in our representation to the council.
“We are urging everybody to respond in any way they can to the council to make sure they know that this is not a good idea for our children at Sulivan.”
Tracy was named Sportswoman of the Year and became an MBE in 1990 for paving the way for women in the male-dominated sailing world, with, most notably, Ellen MacArthur following in her wake.
She was given a tour of the school and led an assembly in which pupils sang her their Save Our Sulivan song. She inspired pupils to keep fighting against the plans after sharing tales of her adventures on the world’s oceans.
Visit www.lbhf.gov.uk/fulhamschools for more information on the merger plans and to respond to the consultation.