Felicity Buchan, the MP for Kensington, has issued a public statement on the Regional Schools Commissioner's decision to recommend that Holland Park School join the United Learning Trust.
Please find the text of the statement below:
Dear Baroness Barran,
I understand that the Regional Schools Commissioner has recommended to her Advisory Board that Holland Park School (HPS) should join the United Learning multi-academy trust (MAT). I disagree with this recommendation and, should it be endorsed by the Advisory Board, I would ask you, as the ultimate decision maker, to review it.
There is a strong preference amongst parents, teachers, RBKC Council, the MP and the wider community for HPS to join a MAT led by Kensington Aldridge Academy (KAA).
A new KAA-led MAT in West Central London, which would start off as two schools but could grow to encompass more schools, will achieve two important aims:
- Be a fitting legacy to Grenfell
- Create new MAT capacity in RBKC and neighbouring boroughs
I truly believe that a KAA-led MAT is the only way to allow the school body to “heal”, and that it is the only way to overcome the disharmony and mistrust which currently exists and allow the school to improve to an Ofsted Outstanding school again.
Below, I set out further why I recommend the KAA proposal.
- KAA already has close links to HPS.
- KAA is an outstanding school with particular strengths in safeguarding and governance; strengths that HPS has been lacking.
- Following the Grenfell tragedy, KAA has shown itself adept at handling the most truly difficult and sensitive of situations. I have no doubt KAA can manage the integration of HPS.
- KAA already has very strong links to HPS, with approximately 20 of HPS’s sixth form going to KAA per year and KAA teachers currently providing support at HPS.
- HPS and KAA benefit from very close geographic proximity.
KAA has the capacity and leadership:
- KAA has the benefit of the sponsorship of the Aldridge Foundation and RBKC.
- RBKC will agree in principle to make a £1 million loan available to the KAA-led MAT so that they can immediately recruit additional teaching capacity.
- KAA has strong external support in Sir Michael Wilshaw, Dame Joan McVittie and Sir David Carter, all acting as consultants.
- KAA already has a Head of School to run KAA day to day, allowing the Principal to be based at HPS
- There is huge goodwill towards KAA which will act as a multiplier on capacity.
I know that parents, teachers and students support a local multi-academy trust option, and I am confident that KAA is the right partner to lead this.
I await the outcome of the Advisory Board on July 21st and should it be necessary, I would appreciate a meeting very soon thereafter.
Felicity Buchan MP