On the 2nd of September, the Phoenix project was officially launched with the Centre for Policy Studies publication, Something Can Be Done: Troops in our schools will do more than troops on the streets.
The media response was electrifying. For two days, the phone rang constantly, and we had to turn down many interview requests—eat your heart out, Jeremy Vine! Sixteen producers have made requests to produce TV documentaries on our progress—we chose Vivian White at Panorama on the basis of the excellent Classroom Warriors that he produced earlier this year.
The Steering Committee currently consists of Capt Affan Burki, WO1 Lutha Magloire, Flt Lt (Retd) Rick Hodge, and Tom Burkard. The most recent meeting took place on 7th September; discussions included the proposed location of the school. There are three Oldham high schools due to come on the market next year, and we hope to get one of them. Alternately, we will be looking for vacant commercial land or property.
Now we have to start recruiting 8- and 9-year-old pupils in Oldham. We will be making every effort to reach pupils from all parts of the community.
If you are interested in what we are doing, please contact us. We want to talk to everyone who is interested in our plans for a school in Oldham—and we’d like to talk to people who are interested in starting Phoenix Free Schools elsewhere.