Philosopher AC Grayling bids to open free school in Camden

AC Grayling. Picture: PA/Anthony Devlin.

AC Grayling. Picture: PA/Anthony Devlin. - Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images

Philosopher AC Grayling is bidding to open a free school in Camden focusing on the arts.

The professor, master of the independent undergraduate New College of Humanities in Bloomsbury, has joined forces with education firm Bellevue Education Group to set up the state-funded, yet private, secondary school in the borough.

Bellevue owns eight schools in the UK and two boarding schools in Switzerland.

If the Department for Education (DfE) approves the plans, the New School of the Humanities could be opened in 2014 with 100 pupils in Year 7.

The founders hope to attract 740 students by 2020.

Prof Grayling, who lectured at Birbeck for 20 years, said: “Personal enrichment is a highly important educational value, and the New School of the Humanities will provide a thorough grounding in the curriculum while allowing students to develop as imaginative and well-rounded individuals.

“We are each neighbours, friends, travellers, readers – we need to be aware of the story of humankind, its problems and possibilities, the debates and discoveries that have shaped it, and how they can be part of our own lives.”

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The school hopes to become a centre for excellence in humanities and offer a core curriculum which will include scientific literacy.

A spokesman for the school said it expected to hear whether its bid is successful by May this year.