Three Popular Schools To Admit More Pupils

Hillbrook, Allfarthing and Albemarle to be expanded

More school places are to be provided at three high-achieving Wandsworth primary schools after proposals for extra classrooms were granted planning permission.

The council is to invest in new classrooms, play areas and other educational facilities at Allfarthing, Hillbrook and Albemarle schools to provide more pupil places and improve teaching space.

The changes mean an additional 90 primary school places will be available for local families in Southfields, Wandsworth, Earlsfield and Tooting from September 2015.

Wandsworth Council has already taken a range of steps to provide additional classroom places for four and five-year-olds.

Over the past three years more than 25 additional reception classes have opened in schools across the borough to meet the growing demand from parents for school places.

Extra classes will be available this September at Smallwood, Sheringdale and Granard schools, while three new free schools have also opened in Tooting, Balham and Roehampton.

The council has also drawn up proposals for two new academies, which could each accommodate up to 420 pupils. These are for the vacant and derelict Putney Hospital site and on land formerly occupied by the Atheldene Centre in Earlsfield.

Wandsworth’s education spokesman Cllr Kathy Tracey said: “This is good news for parents who want their children to attend high-achieving local schools. Expanding Hillbrook, Allfarthing and Albemarle will provide additional primary classroom places in parts of the borough where pressure on places is at its greatest.  

“We have also drawn up detailed long term plans to ensure that we have enough places in the years ahead. This involves expanding some of our best performing and most popular schools, supporting the growth of free schools and opening two new academies in Putney and Earlsfield.”

The growth in demand for primary places in Wandsworth is partly due to an increased birth rate, but also because of sustained improvements in teaching and learning at local schools.

School standards watchdog Ofsted currently rates 95 per cent of Wandsworth schools as good or outstanding, ranking the borough equal second nationally behind the City of London. In comparison only an average of 80 per cent of schools in other parts of the country, and 85 per cent in London, have been given the same quality rating by Ofsted inspectors.

In 2013 Wandsworth’s primary schools achieved the equal fifth best combined Key Stage 2 reading, writing and mathematics combined results across England. Wandsworth also had a higher proportion of pupils making the expected levels of progress in reading, writing and mathematics; being ranked equal second nationally in reading with 94 per cent, equal second nationally in writing with 96 per cent, and equal third nationally in mathematics with 94 per cent.

Between 2002 and 2011 the annual birth rate in the borough grew steadily, rising from 4,080 to 5,477.

July 14, 2014