New Look Burntwood School Unveils £40m Facelift

The school has been completely rebuilt and modernised

Celebrations will be held later this month to mark the official unveiling of the new-look Burntwood School which has been completely rebuilt and modernised as part of a £40m investment scheme.

The school has been rebuilt almost from scratch with outdated facilities replaced with modern learning and teaching spaces.

The popular Wandsworth girls’ school now boasts four brand new teaching blocks, a new performing arts centre and a new sports hall.

Its new science laboratories and prep areas will support and reinforce the school’s reputation as a centre of excellence for science and this will be underpinned by the state-of-the-art IT equipment that has also been installed.

Burntwood’s existing assembly hall and swimming pool/gymnasium building were retained but have been extensively refurbished and modernised and been fully re-integrated into the new campus, which has also undergone major landscaping improvements.

All the mature trees around the perimeter of the site have been retained and some of its gardens have been designed as outdoor teaching spaces. A broad pedestrian walkway, partly under cover, runs the length of the site from the new main entrance in Burntwood Lane to St George’s Grove to help pupils move around the site.

The heart of the school has always been its flag lawn and this has been recreated as a raised lawn with a new flagpole. This means that Burntwood’s long-standing tradition of raising a different flag each day can continue. 

The school’s new performing arts building and sports hall, as well as the refurbished swimming pool, are also available for wider community use.

The extra space provided by the remodelling works mean the school now has space for an additional 250 pupils, including an expanded sixth form of up to 400 students.

The £40m investment in the school was secured from the government’s now discontinued Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme following intensive lobbying of ministers and Whitehall officials by Wandsworth Council.

The money found for Burntwood was virtually the last approved by ministers after the announcement that the BSF programme was being brought to a close.

Town Hall education spokesman Cllr Kathy Tracey said: “These new facilities are really impressive and offer Burntwood’s students a really hi-tech modern learning environment that’s fit for the 21st century.

“I’m delighted that the council was able to persuade education ministers that this was a great school that was worth investing in and that we were able to secure the £40m even though the announcement had already been made that the BSF scheme had ended.

“Working closely with the school we put forward a very powerful case, and to their credit ministers and their officials listened carefully and made the right decision.”

Burntwood’s head teacher Helen Dorfman added: “We are delighted with the new facilities and buildings that our students and staff are now enjoying.

“The improvements are too numerous to list, but include marvellous sports facilities, outstanding science laboratories, excellent dance, drama & music provision and a large, well resourced library. All this set in beautifully landscaped grounds.

“We are confident that the new school buildings and facilities will support us in our commitment to continue to deliver ‘the best education today for the women of tomorrow’.”
An official unveiling ceremony will be taking place at the school on September 25th, when the school will welcome members of the public to visit and see these improvements for themselves.

And in recognition of the outstanding quality of the new scheme, Burntwood is also part of this year's Open House weekend and will welcome visitors between 1pm and 5pm on both September 20 and 21.
The building works were carried out by Lend Lease with the design work led by architects Allford Hall Monaghan Morris (AHMM), whose website showcases the project.


September 17, 2014