Ark Soane Deferral
It is with deep regret that we have had to take the very difficult decision not to open Ark Soane in September as planned.
The outbreak of COVID-19, and the ongoing lockdown, has caused significant delays to both the first phase of our school building, which now won’t be ready for September but more importantly, the crisis has also caused delays to the delivery of the main school building which means the Department for Education is not yet able to confirm a date for its start or completion.
I want you to know that this is not a decision we have taken lightly but the current crisis has required us to make some very difficult and unprecedented decisions.
Over the last weeks we have fully investigated every possible contingency option which would have enabled us to open as planned but unfortunately we are not able to guarantee suitable accommodation and facilities that would allow us to deliver the quality of education that we would expect.
This decision is particularly distressing for our parents, as it is for our founding team of staff, myself and everyone at Ark.
We have worked closely with Ealing Council to manage the reallocation of places. A large majority of students who had accepted a conditional place at Soane had also accepted a place at an open school which they will now take up. I’m pleased to say that those who had declined their offer at an open school have now had those offers reinstated, and those who did not apply elsewhere have received the offer of an alternative school place.
We were delighted to have appointed a highly talented founding leadership and teaching team for Ark Soane and we very much hope that they will choose to stay within our network, working at other schools during the next academic year, ahead of taking up their roles at Ark Soane.
While we can’t give any guarantees amid the current crisis, we will continue to work hard with colleagues at the Department for Education to progress capital works as quickly as possible to secure a 2021 opening.
I would like to thank all those parents and members of the local community for support of Ark Soane – I am extremely sorry that we won’t be opening as planned this year.
Executive Principal, Ark Soane Academy