In 2011 The West London Free School Academy Trust opened the West London Free School, a state funded academy serving pupils aged 11-18 in Hammersmith. The school offers a grammar school style education for all from a non-selective intake. It aims to be one of the best schools in the country, renowned for academic excellence, and capable of giving all children a classical liberal education, no matter what their background.
The West London Free School Academy Trust has since grown to be a multi-academy trust (MAT) with four primary schools as well as the secondary school including a sixth form. In light of further planned expansion West London Free School Academy Trust changed its name to Knowledge School Trust in 2017.
All schools in the Trust aim to encourage pupils to be confident, hard-working and ambitious. To achieve this aim, they place a strong emphasis on a rich and ambitious extra-curricular programme. For all pupils, but in particular, those that attend the schools from disadvantaged backgrounds, the extra-curricular programme is a key mechanism for building confidence, character and ambition.
Funding provided by the Department for Education for the schools covers core academic provision but does not support a rich and ambitious extra-curricular programme.
The Knowledge Schools Foundation Trust looks to fill the space where such things are not covered by the Academy Trust’s annual grant from the Department for Education, including the pupil premium grant, or from capital funding. The Foundation trust was initially formed to secure funding for extra-curricular sport and musical activities for the pupils of the West London Free School but now has a broader focus looking to provide activities, facilities, and resources and other support to all pupils across all schools in the MAT.