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Staff and governors at Avanti House free school 'delighted' at move to Stanmore site
Governors and staff at the Avanti House free school in Harrow say they are “delighted” at news the school will stay in the borough.
The secondary school is set to replace Peterborough and St Margaret’s (PSM), in Common Road, Stanmore, in a temporary move.
Avanti House, based at the Harrow Teacher Centre in Tudor Road, was looking to merge with its associated primary school, based at the Kirshna Avanti School in Stanmore, but had failed to secure a site big enough to house both.
Those plans have now been scrapped and the secondary school will be temporarily moved to PSM until a permanent site can be found.
The primary school will also be moved to PSM in the coming years, though no specific date has yet been identified.
Both the secondary and primary elements of the Avanti House school are likely to be situated at PSM for a time, until a permanent site for the secondary school is identified.
The move to PSM means contentious plans to temporarily re-site the secondary school at The Fairway, in Mill Hill, have been scrapped.
Governors at the school have said they have not ruled out The Broadfields Estate, in Edgware, though the MP for Hendon Matthew Offord said this week the site was "extremely unlikely" to be used.
The Stanmore site became available after Peterborough and St Margaret's was forced to close at the end of term this week due to bankruptcy.
Avanti House governor Ben Rich said the new site was “massively more suitable” than The Fairway.
He said: “The Peterborough and St Margaret site is a quiet location - it’s beautiful and peaceful and surrounded by trees.
“It’s also massively more convenient for parents coming from Harrow and from Krishna Avanti primary school.
“We would be moving into the existing buildings which are fully equipped as a school. Also, people are used to having a school there and there would be no more pupils than there were previously.
“In contrast, at The Fairway site, we would have to move into prefabricated buildings.”
He added the new site had none of the problems of traffic congestion and parking that residents on The Fairway had complained about.
Mr Rich said: “We want to have good relations with our neighbours, which unfortunately wasn’t the case at The Fairway.
“The Broadfields site remains an option, but it would house a much smaller school than previously thought.”
Avanti House principal Gareth Jones said: “I am so delighted. PSM is a wonderful site, quiet, and well-located and equipped, providing an outstanding learning environment for pupils.
“By making this move we will be preserving it as a school and as a resource for the community.”
Councillor Zarina Khalid, who is responsible for education at Harrow Council, said: “We are delighted that Avanti House School is staying in Harrow.
"Over the past year Harrow Council has supported the free school by providing a temporary home at the Harrow Teachers’ Centre in Tudor Road.
"The school’s decision to move to a new site within the borough means Harrow will retain local school places and that there will be minimum disruption to parents and pupils.”
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