Councillors approve plans for £15m expansion of popular schools

Published: Tuesday 20th February 18

Councillors in Wandsworth have approved plans to invest more than £15m in providing more places at some of the borough’s most popular schools.

Councillors have agreed to spend £15.6m adding extra classrooms at some of the borough’s primary, secondary and special schools.

The proposed investment will mean local schools have enough classroom space to cater for rising pupils numbers and also provide local parents with more choice.

At secondary level, subject to the normal feasibility and planning application processes where necessary, the following schools will expand:

  • St Cecilia’s Cof E in Southfields, which specialises in music tuition, will increase its intake by one extra class.
  • Chestnut Grove Academy in Balham, which specialises in art and design, will increase admissions by one class size, while the investment in new facilities will also enable the school to expand its sixth form provision.
  • Ark Academy in Putney will add two new classes to its intake by utilising available space in its existing building which was recently upgraded as part of a £30m school modernisation scheme.

Ark Putney

Burntwood School is already undertaking expansion plans and will be offering extra spaces from September this year.

Graveney School in Tooting has already expanded its intake and now admits 280 pupils, up from 250 in the 2105/16 academic year.

The total cost of expanding the provision at St Cecilia’s, Chestnut Grove and Ark Putney Academy is around £12m.

At primary level, Brandlehow School in Putney will have enhanced buildings to enable it to revert to two forms of entry, having recently had to reduce to one due to lack of space.  This will help to meet growing demand from parents in this part of the borough. Councillors were told that demand in this area is still rising despite the recent opening of the Oasis Academy on Putney Common.

Additional resources will also be invested in special educational needs provision to support children with a range of disabilities.

Using a Department for Education capital grant of £1.9m, improved special needs facilities have already been provided at Ravenstone primary school in Balham from last September.

A new sensory room at Ravenstone

A further cash injection of £350,000 will allow two new classes at Paddock special school in Roehampton which caters for children with moderate and severe learning difficulties.

And Riversdale School in Southfields will see the establishment of a new £450,000 unit to support children with special needs.  The support of the headteacher and governors to put this in place as soon as next September is very welcome and a consultation on this proposal is already under way. 

The council’s cabinet member for education Cllr Sarah McDermott said: “This is a substantial programme of investment that will provide additional classroom places at some of our best performing and most popular schools.

”This is great news for local parents who will have more options and greater choice when it comes to choosing a school for their children.

“And I particularly welcome the extra investment in our special needs provision which will directly benefit some of the borough’s most vulnerable children.”

Wandsworth offers parents some of the best schools in London. Currently 97 per cent of all schools in the borough at both primary and secondary level are officially rated as either good or outstanding by education standards watchdog Oftsted.

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Recent comments

It is good news to know about the investment in our schools, which are much needed of more spaces to accommodate the demand. Just a comment regarding the Putney Oasis academy, it is a dreadful school, demanding a lot of smalll kids and employing a lot of parents and friends of the director, so private of other parents and children are dangerously compromised. Why the responsible authority does not run a independent survey to find out what happens there, it would benefit a better head teacher. Your faithfully,
Rafaela Crozier

2 March 2018

can you tell me how much ARK put into that £30 m upgrade? Academies get so much more funding from Govt. it would be good to know how much they actually contribute themselves.
C. Tibbs

23 February 2018