Enclosures through growth of Free Schools

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Image result for canary wharf college

Continuing from my previous blog, the driving out of commoners from the Isle of Dogs has shown it’s pattern featured in the aforementioned housing trend and the increasing emergence of Free Schools on the Isle.  Children from poorer families are being encroached on through growing gaps in service provision. Since securing the tenure for Canary Wharf College in 2011 there have been a number of sites opened including secondary and FE provision for the Schools which are ‘unregulated’ by the Council and given free reign to pander to the fears of the wealthy -enclosing their children from exposure to (their perceived) banality of commoner kids..

In cync with the model of design that these new free schools outline ‘75% of the Westferry Printworks site designed to feature beautifully landscaped outside space’. Therein a contradiction emerges between ‘spatial mingling’ between children and material which enables a shift in discussion ‘from knowing about the world towards knowing with the world’ in the epistemological sense.. Rautio (2014) .Yet the subjectification flowing from this restriction of movement tends to reconfigure this ‘mingling’ between child and place, allowing for the possibility of a relationship only within the context of an understanding of land as exclusive…restricting the broader concept of ‘social space for mingling’

The underlying point of why this trend (the relentless move to Free Schools) is concerning; is that the parents and politicians who are driving it are wanting ‘private’ schools to be paid for by the taxpayer, i.e. That they want the privileges and exclusivity that go with private schools but without the paying the price themselves. Also because there has been an obsession with quantity and numbers for the league tables, it is about filling the classroom to maximum capacity and inevitably quality education will be compromised (eg there is no requirement for QTS for the teachers). It’s all about ‘bums on seats’ and tick boxes..

This trend has coalesced with the tendancy for new build housing developments over 2 bedrooms to be unaffordable whether  private rent or for sale. Even amongst the recent and new housing stock which is for 1 child families the minority is ‘social housing’. So unless your mortgage is paid off and your children have left education, direct impact on your family and lifestyle. This trend is embedding a more fragmented society where soon the Isle of Dogs (and elsewhere) will be left socially cleansed unless you are fortunate enough to inherit older property on the Isle.

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