Toby Young Responds to Steve Pound's Remarks
As debate continues on the West London Free School
Steve Pound wrote an opinion piece for the Ealing Gazette this week in which he warned of "severe consequences for the wider educational field" if Toby Young's plans to start a school in Acton come to fruition.
We asked Toby to respond to the piece and his comments are reproduced below:
"I enjoyed Steve Pound's article about my plans to set up a new secondary school in Ealing -- it was lively and well-written -- but I'm afraid he has got the wrong end of the stick.
"Steve is right in one respect: we are hoping to set up a "comprehensive grammar". By that, we mean a school like Twyford -- with rigorous setting, high standards of behaviour, an old-fashioned system of pastoral care and the emphasis firmly on academic attainment -- but which is open to Christians and non-Christians alike.
"The reason we want to do this is not because we have anything against Acton High School, which is an excellent modern comprehensive. Rather, it's because the exploding birth rate -- not to mention immigration -- means there's a real need for a new secondary school in the area.
"Steve is right to praise Ealing Council for putting plans in place to deal with this population boom, including the creation of a new school in Greenford. But the mathematicians and economists in my parents group have analysed the statistics and concluded that these plans won't be sufficient to cope with the huge demand for secondary school places in Acton.
"Now that this misunderstanding has been cleared up, I hope we can count on Steve's support."
December 16, 2009