Application for new free school in Maida Hill

Early intervention primary school will open in 2012 if successful

A new free school which aims to speedily identify its pupils’ special educational needs could be coming to Maida Hill.

The Constable Education Trust (CET), which runs a secondary school for children with dyslexia and other special educational needs in Fulham, submitted an application to the Department for Education earlier this month for a new primary school off Harrow Road.

The school will accept all pupils from north Westminster and will aim to adapt individual teaching methods based on early identification and intervention of their particular needs.

Organisers say acknowledging the different ways children learn at the earliest possible stage will allow pupils to achieve the very best of their ability.

Ronda Fogel, company secretary of the CET, said: “We found from our experience with our secondary school that a lot of children come to us having finished their primary education with special educational needs that could have been identified earlier.

“Our teachers will be highly qualified, very enthusiastic and subject specific. It will not be a classroom situation where children can fade away at the back.

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“We are looking at going into deprived areas in London and opening schools where children can achieve excellence.

“We want to bring every child up to the highest standard that they can reach. It’s something we’re very passionate about.”

As well as identifying those with special educational needs, the school will also aim to identify gifted pupils at an early stage so they too can “fulfill their potential”.

If the application is accepted, the school will open in September 2012 with two reception classes and one Year 1 class with a maximum of 28 pupils in each class.

Funding will come directly from central government and the school – like other free schools – will not be answerable to the local authority, Westminster Council.

While a location is yet to be confirmed, Ms Fogel says she hopes space can be found in the Carlton Gate development off Harrow Road.

If successful, the school would be the second free primary school to come to north Westminster in the space of a year. The ARK Atwood Primary Academy is set to open in Third Avenue, Queen’s Park, this September before moving to Amberley Road in Maida Hill.