A free school in Southwark is set to close after only getting 60 pupils in five years

The school, which currently does not have a permanent building and is based in a community hall near Old Kent Road, only attracted sixty pupils in its five years of operation.

“The government must learn lessons from this free school failure. New schools need community support and to be located where there is a demand for places, and should be run by outstanding and established educational providers,” said Victoria Mills, Southwark council’s cabinet member for children and schools.

“With no option to open our own schools, the council will continue to be pragmatic in our approach to free schools. We will work with providers who share our commitment to get the very best for Southwark children and want to deliver schools where there is demand for places.”

And in a letter to parents, governors said it had proven difficult to attract staff.

It is understood the headteacher was the only permanent staff member.

“Unfortunately, it has been extremely difficult to recruit high-calibre permanent teachers, and pupil numbers remain very low,” governors said.

“We are sorry if this proposal comes as a surprise to you but hope you will agree that, while it is very sad that the school would not be able to continue and move to our planned permanent home, we must look at what it is best for the children in the school,” they added.

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