Diary of a Sutton Councillor

Stanley Park High School: old site to stay in educational use?

Today is the official opening of Stanley Park High School on its new site at Orchard Hill. The original site was due to be sold to help fund the building of the new school and local residents have been consulted on a Planning Brief for the site to include residential properties but retaining the ASD unit at the site.

However our council officers and Cllr Kirsty Jerome, the lead member for education, have been working with myself and officers in planning to address the predicted increasing demand for school places in the borough.

To date we have been able to expand a number of our primary schools to meet expected demand, but we once we have expanded all those school where it is possible to do so, we find that if the current trends continue we may still be facing a shortage of places in the future. The urgent requirement will be for primary school places, but obviously eventually that will impact on demand for secondary school places. Even the increased capacity at Stanley Park High School will not be sufficient to meet the expected pressure.

An obvious and efficient solution therefore appears to be to continue to use the old high school site for education, and at Monday’s Executive meeting proposals were agreed to explore turning this site into an education campus comprising a primary school and special educational needs unit. The number of available sites for new schools in the borough is limited, and using a site already in educational use makes it good value for money.

 More detailed plans are being worked on and local residents and key stakeholders will all be consulted on the proposals.

 As your ward councillors Colin, Monica and myself would be keen to hear the views of residents who live in the vicinity of the site.

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February 9, 2012 - Posted by | Uncategorized

4 Comments »

  1. Dear Cllr. McCoy,

    I would be extremely interested to receive an update on the status of renewed use of the Stanley Park High School site. I am sure I am not alone in stating that the utilisation of the site for educational purposes is extremely welcome.

    How quickly is it anticipated that the new school would be open?

    I am a resident in Wallington and my son is due to start primary school in September 2012, that is if a place can be found for him. My son has the misfortune of being one of the 55 on-time applicants for whom a school place has not currently been allocated at any school in the borough, or outside the borough for that matter. This is not due to the fact that the application was not submitted on time, nor was it due to the fact that we limited our list of preferred schools. It is purely based on the well known fact that there are not enough school places available.

    My son remains on the waiting list at all 5 preferred schools listed on the original submission and has been added to the waiting list at a further 13 schools, 5 of which are out of borough.

    We now find ourselves in the unenviable position of waiting to hear if a school can be found. I am trying to be pragmatic, but the unfairness of the situation is, I am sure you can appreciate, taking its toll. My son is a bright and articulate child and deserves a decent standard of education, and not as I fear will be the case, be allocated a place at a school that noone else wants due to a less than satisfactory performance.
    It is for this reason that I am avidly awaiting any information on the proposed new school.

    I look forward to hearing from you.

    Louisa Bare

    Comment by Louisa Bare | May 2, 2012 | Reply

    • I have every sympathy with your situation. The Council has been operating a primary expansion programme for a couple of years now but demand comtinues to outweigh supply. It is scary to read that Sutton has had the fifth largest rise in birth rates in London representing an increase of 30% since 2001, and this figure has been escalating at an increasing rate.The use of the Old Stanley Park High School site for an expanded primary school is currently out for consultation and, subject to feedback, could be operational by September 2013. Despite the existing expansions, demand for 2012 means that we are now considering bulge classes for this year. By taking all these measures I understand that there is confidence that the council will be able to find reception places for all children for September 2012. Obviously it is unsettling for you and your son until you know for sure, and I hope you get confirmation of a place soon.

      Comment by jaynemccoy | May 2, 2012 | Reply

  2. Dear Cllr. McCoy,

    As a resident in the immediate area surrounding the school, I am would like to know if any further progress has been made in deciding the future of the school, as to date we have recieved no further information, despite the school seeming to have become home to a number of people. I would be very grateful for any information you have on the future of the site.

    Kind Regards
    Eimear O’Mahoney

    Comment by Eimear | August 28, 2012 | Reply

    • Dear Eimear

      Proposals to consider use of the site as a primary school were approved by the council earlier this year. The most effective way forward for this proposal means affiliating it to an existing primary school and Bandon Hill was the nearest school that met the statutory requirements. As this constitutes an expansion of an existing primary school there has been statutory consultation on the proposals. This consultation was organised through the Children, Family & Education Directorate. There has yet to be formal approval to action the expansion, I expect this to occur this Autumn. If agreed a planning application will probably be necessary and this will be subject to the usual planning consultation procedures. The relevant report can be viewed here:http://sutton.moderngov.co.uk/mgConvert2PDF.aspx?ID=23170. An update on the situation was brought to the Beddington & Wallington Local Committee in April 2012.

      Comment by jaynemccoy | August 29, 2012 | Reply


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