More of Elliott site conserved

Published: 22 June 2012

The council has announced revised plans to reduce the amount land for disposal at Putney’s Elliott School.

The changes mean that more of the site can be retained for educational use and important school features like its outdoor amphitheatre can be kept.

The updated proposals follow extensive consultation and discussions with bidders for the site. 

Wandsworth's cabinet member for education Cllr Kathy Tracey said: "We have listened to the passionate arguments put forward over the setting of the building and have looked at ways of reducing the amount of land required for the new housing that will help to pay for the school's improvements.

"Throughout this whole process our overriding aim has been has been to secure the long-term future of the school. This is a school with an inspirational headteacher and amazingly dedicated staff - they deserve the best school buildings and facilities we can give them.

"We have the overwhelming support of the school's governors, headteacher and parents to now move ahead with providing Elliott's pupils with a bright, modern, first class school that's fit for the 21st Century."

From September, education charity ARK Schools will take over the running of the school and it will convert to an academy.

The new ARK Putney Academy will be a non-denominational, non-selective school open to all local children. Current headteacher Mark Phillips, who has already overseen significant improvements in teaching, learning and pupil achievement, will continue as its principal.

He said: "I am absolutely delighted that an agreement has now been reached which really does benefit our students. They will now gain from an amazing building being refurbished and still have ample outdoor space for sport and to socialise."

The school has seen a dramatic improvement in performance over the past three years with a near 20 per cent increase in the number of pupils achieving five or more A to C grades at GCSE, including for English and maths.

Approval for the proposed disposal of the land is being sought from the Department for Education.

The council will work closely with English Heritage on the refurbishment works to the school's listed buildings.

The council is currently spending many millions of pounds on improving local schools, providing extra places in some of the borough's best performing and most popular ones and also on setting up new schools to give parents even greater choice when it comes to the education of their children.

Around £10m is being spent this year alone on providing additional school places this September and also in 2013, while new primary schools are planned in Putney and Tooting. A brand new free school, the Bolingbroke Academy will be admitting its first secondary age pupils this September.