A primary school in Brentford is set to close its doors less than three years after opening due to financial struggles and site issues.
Free school Floreat Brentford Primary, located on the ground floor of Trico House at the Great West Quarter estate in Ealing Road, will shut in July this year it announced on Friday (February 9).
The current situation is that pupils aged four to seven are required to move between two separate units at opposite ends of the retail parade, with no outside space for playtime, and the school is no closer to securing a permanent site.
The Floreat Board of Trustees and the Department for Education (DfE) have by mutual consent come to the decision to shut down the school permanently.
It will mean 70 children will have to be relocated to other schools in the borough, as well as those who had made an application for a reception place at the school for September 2018.
Parents will be able to put forward their views on the closure process over a four week period, Floreat Education said.
In addition, newcomers who had put their names down for the 2018/19 reception intake will be given the chance to state another school preference.
The admissions team at Hounslow Council will start working with all the parents involved, starting this week, with the plan to find a space for children prior to July 2018.
The primary school opened at its temporary site in the tower block in Brentford in September 2015.
The school's founders had intended to open at Brent Lea Recreation Ground but those plans were scuppered by campaigners objecting to the loss of green space.
Since then it has faced an abundance of challenges with no certainty on when the proposed new school will move to purpose-built premises.
Other recent developments include difficulty in securing additional space for the school on its temporary site, as well as declining numbers which had placed added pressure on the school.
Floreat Education was set up in 2014 and its portfolio consists of three free schools in Brentford, Wandsworth and Wokingham, all achieving results above national expectations.
In a statement, Floreat Trustees said: “All of our free schools are performing superbly and we are incredibly proud of them.
"Sadly, despite being strong educationally, the site issues around Floreat Brentford have proved insurmountable – both the untenable challenges around the temporary site, and the protracted failure to provide us with a permanent site.
“The school is currently housed in two separate units, sitting under high-rise blocks at opposite ends of a retail parade and opening onto a busy public highway.
"Our pupils, who are aged four to seven years, move between the units throughout the day.
"There is no outside space and so the children take a walk of up to ten minutes each way to spend playtime and PE lessons in a local park.
“This is clearly not sustainable and was only ever intended to be short term.
"Despite tireless efforts to secure a permanent site, the build programme has been beset with delays and is still not confirmed.
"Floreat Brentford should be a burgeoning two-form entry school by now, but with space restricting us to just three class groups, funding levels are critically low, making it increasingly challenging to provide a safe school and the quality of education that is our hallmark.
"We are working closely with the Department for Education and Hounslow Council to ensure that families get the advice and support they need.
“The decision to request the closure of Floreat Brentford is unique to the circumstances of the school and will not impact on the continued and impressive successes of Floreat Wandsworth and Floreat Montague Park."
The other Floreat schools will continue to operate as normal, including the opening of a new school in West Wokingham.
Councillor Steve Curran, leader of Hounslow Council, said: “The school has taken advice from the DfE, which has agreed in principle that it is in the best interests of the children to close the school and find them other suitable places in the borough.
"Sadly, this is another case of the government’s free school model failing and letting down our children, which is unacceptable to us.
“Our school admissions service has stepped in to help and through working with our local head teachers, we are confident we will find the best solutions for all our children.
"Cllr Tom Bruce, cabinet member for education, and I would be very happy to meet with all parents who have children in the school, or who had planned on selecting Floreat Primary School for their child for September 2018.”
A spokesman for the Department for Education said: “Following a request from the trust’s board, we have agreed in principle to the closure of the school.
"We will work with the local authority to ensure pupils are able to continue their education without interruption.”
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