- Tower Hamlets
A local mother is mounting a legal challenge against the Education Secretary following his refusal to open a free school in Lewisham.
Patricia Johnson, parent to two African Caribbean boys aged eight and 15, is challenging Michael Gove’s decision to deny the creation of Disapora High School.
Teachers Kay Johnston and Anne Broni originally put forward the proposal to open the school, which would endeavour to break the cycle of gang culture affecting black boys in the area in 2011. Their request has been rejected three times.
Johnson is seeking a judicial review under the Equality Act of 2012. David Wolfe, who will represent Johnson, argues that Johnston and Broni were not given a chance to respond to concerns about their proposal before it was rejected. The free schools group at the Department of Education deemed the project too ambitious, and said the teachers lacked enough experience in school leadership.
With the Disapora High School, Johnston and Broni aimed to promote “equality of opportunity for boys”, especially young boys of ethnic minorities. The plan included guaranteed three-month work experience for all pupils.