Council Announces Investment For Extra School Places

Over £15m to expand some of the borough’s primary, secondary and special schools

Ark Academy in Putney will add two forms of entry and increase sixth form provision

Plans are now being drawn up to expand some of the borough’s most popular schools after councillors agreed to invest more than £15m in providing more classroom places for the borough’s children.

The proposed investment will mean local schools have enough classroom space to cater for rising pupils numbers and also provide local parents with more choice.

At secondary level the following schools will expand:

Ark Academy in Putney will add two forms of entry and increase sixth form provision to its intake by utilising available space in its existing building which was recently upgraded as part of a £30m school modernisation scheme.

St Cecilia’s CofE in Southfields, which is specialist in maths and music tuition, will increase its intake by one extra form of entry and expand its sixth form provision.

Chestnut Grove Academy in Balham, which specialises in art and design will increase admissions by one form of entry, while the investment in new facilities will also enable the school to expand its sixth form provision.

The total cost of expanding the provision at St Cecilia’s, Chestnut Grove and Ark Academy is around £12m.

At primary level, Brandlehow School in Putney will admit an extra class to meet growing demand from parents in this part of the borough.

Additional resources will also be invested in special educational needs provision to support children with a range of disabilities. Using a Department for Education capital grant of £1.9m, improved special needs facilities are to be provided at Ravenstone primary school in Balham.

A further cash injection of £350,000 will allow two new classes at Paddock special school in Roehampton which caters for children with moderate and severe learning difficulties.

And Riversdale School in Southfields will see the establishment of a new unit to support children with special needs.

The council’s cabinet member for education Cllr Sarah McDermott, pictured above,said: “This is a substantial programme of investment that will provide additional classroom places at some of our best performing and most popular schools.

”This is great news for local parents who will have more options and greater choice when it comes to choosing a school for their children. And I particularly welcome the extra investment in our special needs provision which will benefit some of the borough’s most vulnerable children, and ensure that more children can attend their nearest local neighbourhodd school."

Currently 96 per cent of all schools in the borough at both primary and secondary level are officially rated as either good or outstanding by education standards watchdog Oftsed. The proportion of outstanding schools in Wandsworth is the eight highest in the country.

October 25, 2018