Royal Wharf school gains Newham approval ready for September 2019 intake

Newham Council have "reluctantly" approved plans for the school at Royal Wharf. The school will be run as a "free school" by the Britannia Education Trust, a charity which also set up the Britannia Village Primary School in Silvertown.

Free schools are a type of academy, a non-profit-making, independent, state-funded school which is free to attend but which is not wholly controlled by the local authority. They can be set up by parents, teachers, charities or businesses and funded directly by central government but independent of local council control.

Earlier this month mayor Rokhsana Fiaz said she had “significant concerns about the government’s policy of academisation and the lack of accountability this type of school structure creates for local communities”. However, the cabinet said it was “urgent” the school was set up to take its first intake of pupils by September 2019 and the free model was the only way of achieving this.

Councillor Julianne Marriott, cabinet member for education and children, said: “This development already has around 2,000 people living on it and will have roughly 8,000 people by the time it is finished. We have no choice to agree this proposal to ensure our children can attend a school near their home and we fulfil our duties as an education authority. But it is a travesty that the only way we can have new schools in the borough is through free schools.”