I was informed yesterday that Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Education, has decided to put the new-build of Drapers' Academy, Harold Hill (it's near Romford in Essex) up for review because of the current government spending crisis.
This is unwelcome news. I am Chair of the Drapers' Academy project and with three other members of the Company: James Devereux (a Past Master), Alan Morris (Liveryman) and Stephen Beharrell (Liveryman) as well as great team from Queen Mary University of London led by Prof Morag Shiach and a senior management team headed up by our Principal, Matthew Slater, we have been working for nearly two years on this project. And I must mention the huge support we have had from London Borough of Havering from the Leader of Council, Michael White, downwards, especially David Tomlinson and John Farry, and our teams of advisers from Cambridge Education and EC Harris.
The new buildings are going to be one of the crowning glories of Drapers' Academy (Go तोhttp://www.drapersacademy.com/ to find out more). We are now within eight weeks of financial close, so this news is a real blow.
But in the immortal words of Lance Corporal Jones of Dad's Army, 'Don't panic.' We have started lobbying hard and the local MP, Angela Watkinson, has already given her support. We have a meeting tomorrow afternoon at the Academy Shop on Harold Hill to discuss tactics.
More about Drapers' Academy over some of the next few posts.