Goodbye, hello;Diary

23rd April 1999 at 01:00
"GOODBYE to GM," says The TES this week. "Hello to GM," says the Diary. While England's 1,199 grant-maintained schools prepare for abolition, one is preparing for creation.

Barn Hill secondary in the borough of Hillingdon, west London, won't open until September - exactly when GM status is scrapped. It isn't built yet, but it does have a head who has just opted for foundation status.

How? Hillingdon is a "stage 3 authority" - where more than three-quarters of secondary pupils are GM-taught - so only the dear-departed Funding Agency for Schools had the powers to build a new school when the need became apparent.

"But we could only propose a GM school," says Roger Witts from the skeleton ship that is now the FAS's York HQ. To complete the paradox, we gather the school with no pupils is already full.

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