Mooted religious free school plan stopped

January 20, 2017 10:03 PM
By Cllr Malcolm Cowan

Malcolm CowanPlans for a free school in the Peartree area, to be run by the Salvation for the Nations church, have been terminated by the government. In a letter to Herts County Council, they explain that they felt the trust were not able to meet the rigorous criteria it sets for free schools. They say that their priority is to ensure that they only establish schools where it is clear that the educational provision will be strong and where this best represents the use of public funds.

Commenting, local county and borough councillor Malcolm Cowan said: "This brings to an end a very long period of uncertainty. As far as we know, the church did not acquire a site for a school. At no point was I contacted to be asked to support this scheme, either by the church or by any Peartree residents. There is also the question of educational expertise. I could not find any reference to any track record of educational experience on the church's website - there was a worry for me that any children attending would have been guinea pigs, however well intentioned the church was."

"Now, I trust the county council will push ahead to design an expanded Peartree school large enough to take in children from all the housing being built and being planned nearby."