PAXTON: ‘CONSULTATION’ ON SCHOOL PLANS
Gipsy Hill federation are holding two public ‘consultation’ meetings on their proposals for Paxton primary school today (Monday 14th) and on Wednesday (16th) from 5pm to 7pm.
A round robin letter Paxton Matters – a parent and community led campaign group set up to fight plans to put two year entry of secondary school pupils in portable cabin buildings on the existing primary school playground – says:
Dear Parents and Residents:
The Gipsy Hill Federation has told us they have further developed their plans for co-locating Gipsy Hill Secondary School at Paxton. They will hold two public consultation meetings on the proposal at Paxton School on:
MONDAY 14 & WEDNESDAY 16 NOVEMBER 5-7PM
After months of campaigning and putting pressure on the government and the Federation, we view this as a genuine effort by the latter to engage with parents and the community prior to the Educational Funding Agency’s final decision next month. This is what we’ve asked for; it’s our last chance to speak up; and it’s vital that we use the opportunity to voice our concerns. We hope every one of you will attend one of the consultation sessions. A strong showing will demonstrate our continued commitment to holding the Federation accountable to its promises.
Even if you can’t attend one of next week’s sessions, we hope you will take the time to fill in the consultation forms by hand or online. If possible, it would be great if you could do it by the end of the weekend so that the Federation will have time to address them. Again, there will likely be no future opportunities to express our concerns, so this is the time to make a final big push toward a favourable outcome.
WHERE WE ARE:
For those of you who haven’t seen updates on our website and on Facebook, we wanted to fill you in on what’s been happening with Paxton Matters since half term. Our goal has been to apply pressure in all directions with the hope that the proposal would be either removed from the table or modified in a way that minimises impact and risk on Paxton:
A couple of weeks ago, our local MP Helen Hayes met with the Educational Funding Agency (EFA) on our behalf. We were able to inform that discussion with our various concerns, ranging from traffic and lack of consultation with the local community to playground and space restrictions.
The EFA followed up this meeting with a letter to Paxton Matters and all who participated in the letter-writing campaign. We were pleased to read they were planning to take all of the issues we raised into consideration as they move towards a feasibility decision on the site, which will happen next month.
Helen Hayes requested an urgent meeting with the Head of Free Schools, who is due to make a “gateway decision” about the schools that are ready to open next September. We are waiting to hear back regarding when this meeting will be held
We wrote to Lambeth planning to challenge their claim that planning permission ISN’T REQUIRED unless temporary structures are built. The team at Lambeth is currently working on a response and will get back to us shortly.
The Federation clarified its plans based on the newly limited intake numbers and the promise that the primary school facilities will not be compromised. Those plans will be presented at the consultations next week.
All along, our goal has been to eliminate Paxton as an interim site option for Gipsy Hill School, and that remains the case. That said, we also feel it is wise to ensure the current plans are as favourable as possible in case the EFA decides to move ahead. Our big questions going into the consultation are:
What are the proposed intake numbers of students into the secondary school?
How will it all work? Building, playground, circulation, access, timetables, shared spaces, dining/food preparation, etc. At what points will the primary and secondary students interact?
How will decisions be made and conflicts be resolved?
How will the site and the local streets cope with an increase in traffic? What will the Federation do to mitigate this?
What will the acceptance criteria be for the secondary school now, and once it moves to Clapham?
How will the plans address promises made in planning?
Do we have assurances that the secondary school will not impact on primary intake, particularly related to the nursery?
What is the contingency plan if construction on the Glenbrook site does not complete in time? Can the Federation continue to uphold its commitment to no compromised public spaces and no temporary buildings on site? What assurances does the Federation have that planning permission will be granted on the site? What assurances do we have that the secondary school will only be co-located for two years?
THANK YOU FOR ALL YOUR CONTINUED SUPPORT
As mentioned above please do fill out the consultation forms either by hand or online, before the end of the week and we look forward to seeing you at the consultation sessions.