Jennette Arnold
London assembly member for North East London — fighting your corner at City Hall

At yesterday’s Mayor’s Question Time, I challenged the Mayor about his support for Free Schools, and asked him whether he thought it was right that Sulivan School – rated as Good with Outstanding features by Ofsted – is being closed and knocked down in order to build a Free School.

Regrettably, Mayor Boris Johnson refused to support the children, parents and teachers of Sulivan Primary School. The children pleaded with the Mayor through song at City Hall, but he remained supportive of the Free Schools’ programme and refused to write to the Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham to add his name to the list of people who oppose the closure of Sulivan School.

The Mayor has been outspoken about his support of Free Schools across London despite the Local Government Association (LGA) urging the government to ensure free schools are not set up in areas with a surplus of school places.

I find it shocking that the Mayor has chosen to ignore the plight of the children from Sulivan Primary School. I asked Boris if he thought it was right for Hammersmith and Fulham Council to try and bulldoze this fantastic school to make way for a free school, but he refused to offer his support. He said the new free school would make a positive impact.

The pupils, parents and teachers from Sulivan primary school came to City Hall to tell the Mayor directly that they wanted him to help them save their school. The children even baked him a cake with ingredients from the school garden. However, the children, parents and teachers of Sulivan School were shocked and disappointed that Boris won’t support their campaign. He has let down Londoners who were depending on him.

I have visited Sulivan School and it’s a wonderful environment for children. To demolish a perfectly good school in an attempt to push forward the Government’s misguided policy on free schools is ludicrous. Boris said he has no responsibility for education yet he has made it a priority to help find sites for free schools in London and investing £30 million in education matters.

You can find out more by clicking here.

You can find my question to Boris on this issue between times 2:17:55 and 2:26:00 on the video.