Merton mum sets out plans for new free school in the borough


Nikki O’Rourke held the first public meeting on Saturday.


By Bethan Marsh

A Merton teacher is fighting to open a new free school in the borough.

Mum of two Nikki O’Rourke held a public meeting this Saturday at Wimbledon’s Polka Theatre in order to allow parents to find out more about her ideas.

Flyers and e-vites were sent out prior to the event, and around 16 people showed up to the meeting.

For eight years, Nikki taught in a primary school specialising in early years, and began thinking of the idea after the birth of her two sons.

“It’s been something I have been thinking about for three years,” said Nikki.

“I finally thought if I don’t put the idea out there to other people, then they will never know.

“Having the chance to take a step back allowed me to think about what schools could be like if they were designed now.”

Her aim is to open a school, ideally beginning with children in Key Stage One, with the school ages growing with the increasing number of children attending.

She stated that one way of teaching the children effectively could be including professional experts to react with the children and talk to them about what they enjoy.

“Its important to keep the children interested and ask them what they enjoy learning, which makes them enjoy it,” Nikki said.

“I think it can only get better as the children’s understanding grows.”

Discussions at the meeting also led to the possibility of opening a free bilingual school if there was a demand for it in the area.

Despite a shortage of primary school capacity nationally reported by the National Union of Teachers (NUT), the government has recently approved the opening of 28 new free secondary schools due to opened later this year.

Nikki is hoping to reach out to anyone who is interested in helping out, and anyone interested can contact via her online blog Curiouser and Co.

 Follow us @SW_Londoner

Related Articles