Plan for new primary free school in Tooting
Published: Thursday 2nd February 12
Parents in Tooting could soon have a new choice of school for their children with the unveiling of plans for a new primary in the area.
Councillors are backing proposals for a brand new primary school that would be run as a free school sponsored by the hugely popular and successful Graveney School.
The new school would be based in Franciscan Road and would open in September 2013. It would be located in the former school building, now known as the Professional Centre, that has been used for many years as a training centre for teachers and to house a number of educational services.
The new school would admit 60 pupils into two reception classes each year, eventually creating places for 420 children in total, covering an age range from four to 11.
The school would be run as an educational trust in partnership with Graveney School, which has for many years been one of the borough's highest performing secondary schools and is widely recognised as one of England's best state schools. The new school would be overseen by Graveney but would have its own headteacher and primary phase teachers
The proposals are designed to meet rising demand from parents for primary school places in Tooting.
In order for the plans to move forward and the new school to become a reality, local parents will need to show they support the idea.
Parents are now being urged to register their views by taking part in a survey of local needs organised by Graveney. The deadline for registering these views is Friday, February 24, 2012.
Parents who support the plans are being asked to complete the brief online survey at http://www.graveney.org/ or return a copy of the questionnaire that's contained in a leaflet outlining details of the new school that is now circulating throughout Tooting. Copies of the leaflet are available at Tooting Library and at nurseries and playgroups in the area.
Parents can also email responses to firstname.lastname@example.org or write to Graveney School, Welham Road, Tooting, London SW17 9BU.
The town hall's education spokesman Cllr Kathy Tracey said: "We have come up with a local solution to the local challenge we will face in the coming years on primary school places.
"To meet the growth in demand from Tooting parents and to ensure they have the widest possible choice for the education of their children, we have worked closely with Graveney School in drawing up plans for a new primary school in the area.
"The beauty of these proposals is that firstly they utilise an existing council-owned building and therefore offer the best value for money for local taxpayers and secondly they harness the talents and skills of the very dedicated and successful staff, governors and trustees at Graveney.
"What is important now is that local parents are given the opportunity to have their say. Without their support these proposals will not get off the ground so it is vital that parents of children aged under four take part in the survey before the February 24 deadline."
Graveney's principal Graham Stapleton said: "Graveney School has a long history as an outstanding school. Its most recent Ofsted report said that its 'excellent balance of nurture and challenge makes a real difference to children's lives'.
"This proposed new school would provide the same vision and ethos for younger pupils who would also benefit from Graveney's expertise and its excellent sporting and academic facilities."
Parents who would like to lean more about the proposed new school and the kind of education it could offer their children can attend a series of information sessions in the coming days. These are being held at:
Graveney School, Welham Road, Tooting on Thursday, February 9 between 2pm and 5pm.
The Professional Centre, Franciscan Road, Tooting on Friday, February 10 between 2pm and 5pm.