Today has been a disappointing day for a lot of parents and students in Bournemouth. Parkfield school. a free school was due to open in September this year offering a all through education from ages 4- 18, has been differed until next year. The really really annoying thing about it is, it was because the Department of Education let us down. They failed to find us a suitable site in the time required. Or more correctly failed to contact Bournemouth Borough council to find out about planning regulations on our proffered site.
This school was a dream dreamed up by forward thinking parents, with the get up and go to move their dream forward, for a co-educational free school offering a fresh approach and choice that allows pupils to discover learning, unlock their potential, find their place in their community and play their part in society. It was to be an answer to all of our school prays!
The Governing Body were not being paid. For 18 months a group of parents met on a Monday night to discuss the project, plan and then allocate tasks. All this was done in their own time. They gave up their weekends to go to Free School seminars, to distribute leaflets. They paid out of their own pocket the printing, the paper, the time. They recruited the headmaster, sat on interview boards, again giving their time for free. The Head was in place. The governing Board was in Place. The teachers were all recruited. The students had been notified. The Dream was alive!
The school has been backed by the community. Parents were very, very excited about how lucky we were in Bournemouth and Poole to have this opportunity. They have been meeting up to develop the school community. They have set up a Face Book page Parents of Parkfield. The support for the school has been and still is amazing.
And yet. . .here I write telling you this story because the last few weeks became a nightmare, because the Department of Education couldn't secure the building and therefore has let us all down. The governing body has been frantically trying to find temporary accommodation. But to no avail!
What is amazing though is the continued support of the Parents, the Headmaster and the future staff. It really is "Batten down the Hatches" The Spirit that makes you proud to be British!
Parkfield School WILL open in September 2013. It will be bigger and better than before. It will open purely because of the amazing power of a Dream. . . (And a lot of hard work!)