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Labour councillors worried about impact of free school in Tottenham Hotspur development
Backbench Labour councillors are “extremely worried” about the impact of a new primary free school in Tottenham.
After the Haringey Independent revealed on Tuesday that the E-ACT Free Schools Trust had agreed with Spurs and the Department for Education (DfE) to build a school at the Brook House site in Tottenham High Road in September 2015, councillors have privately vented their anger over a lack of consultation.
The school, which will open this September to 120 reception and Year 1 pupils, will be temporarily based for three years in the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London’s campus in High Road, and Haringey Council will manage the admissions process.
It has emerged that councillors were not told of the decision before Tuesday’s announcement, despite controversy over free schools and academies in the area in the last six months.
St Ann’s ward councillor Zena Brabazon said: “I am extremely worried about the destabilising impact this could have on local schools who could lose pupils and funding.
“Several schools are in close proximity to this free school and in an area of Tottenham that does not have high pressure on school places – this could have a big impact.”
Councillor Sheila Peacock and Councillor David Browne have also sent emails to council officers questioning what guarantees there are that the new school will not poach the best pupils from existing schools.
The project, closely linked to Highgate School, was given the go ahead by the DfE in February and will eventually cater for 420 students up to Year 6.
Free schools, which are funded by the Government and from sponsorship, have freedom from local authority control and greater autonomy over their finances and curriculum.
The Haringey Independent is waiting for a comment from Haringey Council.