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Thursday, 27 August 2009

Aldershot for sale - Swedish School, anyone?

It may have passed you by, but Defence Estates are selling Aldershot. The place has been synonymous with the British Army for at least a century, but now it's up for sale. Or rather, the army bits are. See HERE for details.

I was looking for a site on which a parents' co-operative could found a Gove School on the Swedish model, offering iGCSEs to an academic intake selected solely on academic merit by an entrance exam. The day-school would need room for a couple of rugby pitches and a cricket table, of course, and be within day-commuting distance for its pupils. It would have be to be near tube or rail links and in a safe and attractive location.

An ex-MoD place seemed an ideal starting point, but there's nothing available in London at the moment. Local government sites would be an alternative, but the best of these were all sold off during the housing boom. I was beginning to imagine that the idea of Gove Schools would founder on the most fundamental requirement - no sites available for them - when inspiration struck.

Big-bang Localism will free up millions of square feet of government buildings in London; government departments and quangos have spared no taxpayer's expense in providing themselves with fantastic buildings in prime locations, and many of these will make first class locations for a new Gove School.

And there you have it. Gove Schools in London will remain a Conservative fantasy unless Cameron is serious about Localism and about shrinking the State, and unless government departments and councils are forced to offer disposal sites first to groups of local parents and others who wish to found a new school.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Given previous experience you'll have to be an obscure Japanese bank and bid for the whole lot at less than a quarter of the lowest valuation......