Author: Cyril Richert
According to Brightside (September edition) the rebuilding work of 2 secondary schools in Wandsworth is to go ahead, education Secretary Michael Gove has confirmed.
In July, the government scrapped funding for 14 schools in Wandsworth, and two more schools were under review: Burntwood and Southfields (read our previous article).
The attempt from Wandsworth Council to persuade Department for Education officials to go ahead with plans for the remodelling of Elliott School in Putney, the construction of Saint John Bosco – a new Catholic secondary school in Battersea and other schools to be funded by the BSF programme, is still in limbo as the final decision is expected mid-September.
But detailed designs were already prepared for Burntwood and Southfields and it seems that too much money would have been waisted should they be stopped.
Burntwood School in Earsfield will benefit from a £40m rebuild and Southfields Community College will receive £29m. Work is expecting to start in spring next year.
At the same time, the Neighbourhood School Campaign has launched an initiative to set-up a free school at the proposed site of the Bolingbroke hospital. However, setting up a free school is not that simple: from the selection of the organisation in charge of running it (ARK Schools has been short listed and should appoint the teaching staff and run the school as an academy with direct funding from the government), to the level of education provided (as a free schools, parents should make sure that the organisation selected is following their requirements in term of standard of teaching and methodology).
In parallel, the NHS is proposing an alternative plan (residential development) this autumn in order to maximise the value of the Bolingbroke site. To date, no financial offer has been made to buy the site within the timescale that is vital to the Trust. Read our article on the proposal HERE.