NEW SECONDARY SCHOOL FOR GIPSY HILL?
The Gipsy Hill Federation – which runs Kingswood, Elm Wood, Paxton, Crawford and Fenstanton primary schools – is hoping to open a new secondary school.
“This can ONLY happen if we can show the Government that enough local parents support the idea and would like to send their child there” said a Virtual Norwood blogger.
“Please go to http://www.gipsyhill…uk/GHFSecondary for more information and to sign up support.”
The link to the federation’s website says: “If we can show strong community support, the Gipsy Hill secondary academy will be a new free school created and run by the hugely successful Gipsy Hill Federation, building on its exceptional track record at its existing five primary schools – Kingswood, Paxton, Elm Wood, Fenstanton and Crawford.
“The new school for 11-19 year olds would open in September 2016 with eight classes in year seven, growing year by year to 1,400 students when at full capacity in 2022. “It would be open to all and run within the state system.
“The principles which have made the Federation so successful would continue into secondary level education: the provision of a broad, balanced and innovative curriculum, which includes and extends beyond national curriculum subjects, where the pursuit of the highest possible achievement and all-round educational excellence are underpinned by a caring and supportive atmosphere.
“Our benchmarks would be set in line with an aspiration to offer the best possible education available in the state or private sector, providing your community with a world class secondary school.
“It is an approach which has led to national and international recognition for the Federation as a trail-blazer in school and teaching standards. “This also led to our executive headteacher Craig Tunstall receiving a knighthood for his services to education in the 2014 New Year’s honours list.”
One federation parent responding to the announcement and backing the idea of a new secondary school has, in a separate post, warned: “The ticking bomb for secondary school places need to be addressed now given it takes several years to get a secondary school open but there is no sign of Lambeth tackling this.
“I don’t doubt that central government capping of capital funds to LEA’s for new schools has contributed to the problem (and a cynic might say it is deliberate to encourage take up of free schools) but its also about priorities.
“For example Lambeth knew in 2013 that it had a £50 million shortfall just to be able to meet primary school demand for 2015 (let alone secondary demand) and went as far as to launch a campaign to get residents to lobby government for more money……….but in the same year Lambeth decides to build a spanking new town hall for ……£50 million !!
“As for secondary provision the two state secondaries in the south of the borough (The Norwood School and Elm Green) are both massively oversubscribed and have been for over five years with no commitment by Lambeth to build a new schools to cover the known increase by 2016 caused by the big jump in local primary pupils which started over six years ago
“It remains the case that Lambeth has the highest percentage (except City of London) of any inner London borough of pupils who live in the borough but go to a state secondary outside of borough.
“And those secondaries in this area which are nearby, but out of borough, are also massively over subscribed – Harris Academy in Croydon get 18 applications per place and Kingsdale 7.5 per place.” Sources Federation website / Virtual Norwood postings.
A Lambeth council spokesman told News From Crystal Palace: “We have a comprehensive plan to address secondary school place need – with expansions proposed and another new secondary in the pipeline should we get appropriate DfE funding.