Monday, March 17, 2014
Brixton needs a college - not a free school
There being no rest for the wicked, following an early start, I am now on my way home from a meeting to discuss the campaign to save further education on the Brixton site of Lambeth College.
The College management having decided to sell the site (whilst retaining perhaps a third of the site of the site for a continuing presence for further education) there was substantial local opposition to the suggestion that the site would provide (luxury) residential accommodation.
Michael Gove therefore stepped in and the Government have offered to buy the site to accommodate a secondary “free school” with a Catholic ethos, for which there is no demand locally and which is supported neither by the local authority nor the Catholic Church.
As public servants we are used to hearing that there is no money – but Michael Gove found millions (of our cash) to offer to buy some prime inner London real estate in order to play school with taxpayers’ cash. If those resources are available then they can be invested in further education for local people in Brixton.
The campaign to defend Lambeth College’s Brixton site (formerly the site of Brixton College before the merger which created Lambeth College prior to the incorporation (privatisation) of further education in 1992) has the potential to succeed if it can build the alliances which are there to be built.