'Selling half the school is not the only solution here and we must act now to preserve it'
Actor Alun Armstrong (Get Carter, Braveheart) has joined the fight to save one of the country’s best loved
secondary schools, Elliott in Putney, from Wandsworth Council’s attempts to dispose of up to 56% of the school
site to pay for a long overdue refurbishment.
“We must save the school from Wandsworth Council’s awful plans. My 3 sons were privileged to be educated in a wonderful building, in peaceful, landscaped grounds with extensive sports facilities. In the years since they left, the school buildings have been allowed to decay by the council and now the school itself is under threat. Selling half the school is not the only solution here and we must act now to preserve it for future generations.”
The proposals, revealed in March 2012, are in collaboration with ARK, the education provider, who will take over
the running of the school during its conversion to an academy in September 2012. They include a drastic
reduction of the designed capacity of the school from over 2200 to a maximum of 1200 pupils. This reduction in
capacity enables the council to justify the sale of school land, claiming that the amount remaining still meets the
minimum educational standards.
The Save Elliott School Campaign explains: “It is no good telling the public that what remains will meet minimum standards for the size of school Elliott will become. This is tantamount to saying that your children are only
worth the minimum. The council seems quite comfortable to be spending millions on free schools in more wealthy parts of the borough while condemning Elliott’s children to only the minimum of out-door space requirements”.
Elliott School is an historic grade II listed building and “perhaps the finest of the large comprehensive schools
built by the London County Council Architects” (Elain Harwood, English Heritage). The proposals include demolishing the acclaimed and listed sports hall and purpose-built design and technology facilities. The name Elliott School would be replaced by The ARK Putney Academy which would further destroy the heritage of the school.
A spokesperson from Wandsworth NUT said: “Whatever is ultimately decided regarding the future status of Elliott School it must not involve the sale of its playing fields and outdoor educational spaces. Elliott has a rich cultural and educational heritage which is embedded in its architectural design. To suggest that half the site is surplus to requirements is a scandal. The council have chosen to buy land in other parts of the borough in order to set up new schools and yet they are not prepared to repair Elliott without asset stripping and disadvantaging its existing and future students. It appears that in London’s Olympic year the legacy for Elliott students will be the sale of its sports facilities.”
The Save Elliott School campaign continues:“The Council maintains that all other solutions have been considered and this is the only option, yet no evidence to support this claim has been disclosed. Elliott School has an amazing record of educational achievement. The building and landscaped playgrounds clearly contribute to the education and well-being of its students. This is directly at risk under the council's
What you can do:
* Please Visit our website to find out more www.saveelliottschool.tumblr.com
* Sign our petition by going to the Wandsworth Council website
* Join us on Facebook
* Send a message of support to firstname.lastname@example.org so we can build an address book of contacts for future information mail]outs and updates.
The Save Elliott School campaign
April 20, 2012