Education secretary Michael Gove has given the go-ahead for a new Crystal Palace primary school.
The project – among 38 free school projects approved nationwide – is described by the Department for Education as:
“the Crystal Palace primary school – conceived by a group of parents that were fed up with the lack of choice in their area.
“In addition to following the national curriculum, the school will make sure their pupils develop determination, optimism, curiosity and a hard work ethic.”
The actual location of the new school has yet to be revealed – but the Mayor of London Boris Johnson, in a separate announcement, revealed that he has freed up publicly owned land and property, including disused police stations, to speed up the opening of 11 new schools.
He said the schools will be developed in former police stations, on Greater London Authority-owned land and in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic park. One building listed is the former South Norwood police station.
But a Greater London Authority spokesperson has told News From Crystal Palace they are unable to say who is moving into the former police station in Oliver Grove SE25 “due to data protection” but offered to forward News From Crystal Palace’s contact details to the group. (which we have asked the GLA to do – Ed.)
UPDATE: News From Crystal Palace understands the Crystal Palace primary school will NOT be moving into the former police station. The new Crystal Palace primary school MUST be within a one-mile radius of the Westow House pub on the corner of Westow Hill and Crystal Palace Parade.
Responding to Mr Gove’s announcement Crystal Palace primary school proclaimed in a statement:
“WE HAVE BEEN APPROVED!!!
“We are delighted to announce that Crystal Palace Primary School will be opening in 2015.
“Crystal Palace primary school is driven by a vision of local parents and teachers of a school for the community. “The ideas for the school developed directly in response to many parents, who expressed concerns about the lack of primary school places in the local area.
“CPPS will be a two form entry school, for pupils from reception to year six.
“We will ensure that our local children get the best start in life. “At the heart of the school is the idea that nurturing ‘character’ is crucial in ensuring future success and happiness for children.
“We will focus on developing seven key positive character traits in pupils, highlighted as being essential ingredients for lifelong success.
“The uniqueness of Crystal Palace will be reflected in this school and we look forward to working with our local community to develop strong partnerships. “We would like to thank those who have supported the school so far and we hope you continue to do so” the school added.
A GLA statement said the new primary school in South Norwood will be a primary free school/academy with an expected 420 places.
“The Education Funding Agency have acquired this former police station in an area of high basic need with the intention of locating a primary free school or academy here in the near future.”
The GLA also announced that one of the other new schools will be the Harris primary academy East Dulwich which will be based in the former East Dulwich police station at 97 Crystal Palace Road, SE22.
The primary free school, with 420 places, being set up by the Harris Federation will open in temporary accommodation in September 2014 and will move to its permanent site in September 2015.
A DfE statement said: “Free schools are brand new schools set up by parents, teachers and charities in response to demand from the local community. “This announcement brings the total number of open and approved free schools to 331, creating 175,000 new places overall.
“Through free schools and academies, the government is taking power away from politicians and bureaucrats and handing it to heads and teachers, so that they can run new schools and provide for pupils in the way they think best.
“Free schools are driving up standards and ensuring more parents have a great school in their neighbourhood.
“Free schools are disproportionately located in areas with a shortage of places and areas of deprivation. “The vast majority (84 per cent) of the schools approved in this announcement are in areas most in need of more school places, while 50pc will be in the 30pc most deprived communities in England.”
Mr Gove said: “Free schools are giving thousands of children from ordinary backgrounds the kind of education previously reserved for the rich and the lucky.
“Thanks to our free school programme, many more parents now have a new school in their neighbourhood offering high standards and tough discipline.
“Free schools put teachers – not bureaucrats and politicians – in the driving seat, as they are the ones who know their pupils best.”
Find out more about Crystal Palace primary school:
Tel: 08458 603 277