Trust run by former Tory adviser selected for Earlsfield academy
An education provider founded by a former Tory adviser - with no former experience of running schools - has been selected as favourites to run a primary school.
Wandsworth Council has selected educational trust Floreat to run the new academy school located in the Atheldene Centre, Garratt Lane, Earlsfield.
James O’Shaughnessy, director of Floreat, was David Cameron's director of policy from 2010 to 2011 and authored the election manifesto.
Floreat does not run other schools, but is aspiring to set up a string of primary schools across the southeast of England.
The provider has said it plans to focus on the core skills, cultural knowledge and character, working alongside charity Adventure Learning Schools.
A schools inspector, executive head an academy trust and staff working within the Education Funding Agency also form the management team.
The school will be open by September 2015 to admit 60 children a year, eventually providing places for up to 420 pupils.
It comes after Wandsworth's increasing birth rate has placed a strain on primary school places, with several schools having to expand and a further three new schools opening this year.
The council has hopes the new school will begin a wider regeneration scheme in Earlsfield.
A new replacement health centre is in the pipeline, while vacant council buildings may be regenerated.
Councillor Kathy Tracey, cabinet member for education, said: "We have now looked very carefully at a wide range of possible academy providers and are delighted to have selected Floreat as our preferred choice to run the new school.
"We strongly believe they will bring a great deal of expertise, knowledge and leadership to the school.
"We think they could offer local parents a great new choice of school with a strong ethos on learning and achievement."
A total of five organisations bid to become the provider, with the council selecting Floreat as their favourite.
The government needs to give approval before the school goes ahead while the council still need to secure planning permission.
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