Dear friends, family and colleagues
As a local parent here in Wandsworth, I’m part of a group of concerned mums and dads that’s campaigning for a new state secondary school for the Northcote Road area.
We think everyone will benefit – our children of course, and the community we all call home.
For the full story please go to http://www.thensc.net
We’d really like to know what you think? And if you’re on side, we could really do with your help.
If you can visit our website, sign the online petition, and forward this email to friends, family, colleagues – anyone who might help us gather the support we need to get this campaign rolling.
And on behalf of the Neighbourhood School Campaign, thank you.
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What is wrong with sending your children to Battersea Park School? It isn’t in the immediate vicinity, sure but there’s no reason why children can’t walk to the north of Battersea.Good exercise for the ‘couch potato’ generation! The former Belleville and Honeywell pupils could all walk there together.Under BSF it is supposed to be redeveloped and Wandsworth Council have received £17m for BSF from the Government. This means it will be state of the art-something that cannot be said of the Bolingbroke building-currently not suitable for the NHS so why for your children? And no play space except for an already crowded Wandsworth Common. And Battersea Park is a hugely improved school under inspired leadership, staff and a strong governing body. It is not immediately local but it is accessible and has the virtue of being alreday ‘there’. So support it!
Anne Reyersbach> I think the point of the campaign if not to criticize other schools but to show that there is a place for a secondary school in Clapham Junction.
Bolingbroke is only a option (a nice one maybe) and surely the building would be completely refurbished and redeveloped for a school premise.
We would like the opportunity to send our kids to some of the excellant borough schools. However due to their very popularity sadly we do not have that choice here in south Battersea. This is because admission is largely granted on the basis of distance. For example, Graveney has a catchment zone of 0.4 miles but we live over 3 miles away. Projecting forward, even if all the BSF funding actually gets spent – and that is doubtful given the backdrop of the election and £178 billion national debt – any additional pupil places created would still only dilute the problem – not solve it. We would still be furthest away by catchment zone. A new school in a part of the borough where none currently exists is the only sensible solution – ie, matching local supply to local demand. So while you make a valid point you are starting from the wrong place.
Is Battersea Park School over subscribed?
I do understand admissions criteria. I also understand that you wouldn’t want to send your children to as school as far away as Graveney but people do-and to Elliott which is even further and those who go to private schools travel miles.
Despite the national debt I believe that schools’ spending has been safeguarded. Wandsworth has received the third largest amount out of 34 successful bids. You would be entitled to ask them to try to increase capacity at Chestnut Grove which is your nearest school-or Burntwood or Ernest Bevin for those who want single sex schools.
I don’t start from the wrong place-in fact i am interested in what would help all children to thrive and succeed-not a few. And whilst the Bolingbroke Hospital site might be refurbished-where precisely might these no doubt gifted young people play? On an already over crowded Common? Or is play not a factor for consideration?
Anne Reyersbach> I am not as expert on the subject as Jon De Maria, but I think to remember that admissions criteria and over-subscription for Graveney and Battersea park make them difficult to register in. I heard about people who decide to move away from Clapham Junction because they cannot find a secondary school in the area.
Regarding playground, the neighbourhood school campaign is focused on a secondary school, not a primary school. The size of the playground area is not as important (I can cite some high schools with a very limited playground in central London, but with high demand regarding the quality of the education provided).
London’s primary schools (not secondary!) are to receive more than £140 million in emergency funding to tackle the shortage of places for children. Wandsworth will get £17.9 million in funding. Beside, Wandsworth has got a £300m Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme, with £22m investment in all 16 borough secondary and secondary special schools, with extensive remodelling and new build (with Elliott school’s extension).
In addition, I don’t think that a better solution could be to create gigantic schools miles away rather than local schools. Elliott school (a solution offered to CJ children, but located in Putney-Roehampton, the opposite side of the borough) has already 1200 pupils, and a planned extension to 1600, but was marked as causing concern to Local Authority by OfSted in 2007.