Paxton Primary School to restrict number of pupils for secondary after parents’ outcry

News Desk (03 November, 2016)

The headteacher wrote to parents saying that expanding the school would compromise its "ability to deliver an exceptional secondary school for your children"

Paxton Primary School will restrict the number of pupils accepted to the interim site for the new Gipsy Hill secondary school, after mounting pressure from parents.

Original plans were for a total of 240 pupils, made up of youngsters from each year group, to be accepted onto the site of the primary school for two years from next September while work was finished at the site of the new school.

But after parents objected to the plans because of a lack of consultation and concerns over how the secondary pupils would impact the primary school, the Gipsy Hill Federation scaled back plans.

A letter sent home to parents from James Hadley, the headteacher, said: “Having evaluated our plans for Paxton more thoroughly in dialogue with Lambeth, the Department for Education, Paxton parents and the local community, we have come to the decision that our initial proposal would compromise both the provision for Paxton children and our ability to deliver an exceptional secondary school for your children if we were to admit the planned 240 pupils in the first two years.

“I would like to again apologise for the manner in which the initial announcement was made and for the understandable upset and anguish that it caused you. I would also like to thank the many parents who have given us feedback on our plans so far.

“The search for the interim site has been extremely challenging so whilst we had hoped for a standalone site, the amendments to our plans will ensure that we are offering a high quality space for learning for pupils at both schools.”

A group of parents opposing the plans, called Paxton Matters, said that it “is a step in the right direction”.

They said: “Gipsy Hill School sent home a letter to parents last week, explaining that it will restrict its intake during its interim years at Paxton. In theory, this proposal means building temporary structures on site will not be necessary. While we feel this is a step in the right direction and a small victory for our campaign, we continue to have grave concerns about the lack of formal channels for consultation with parents and residents, and the risks associated with overruns on the permanent site.

“As a result, until we see more concrete plans, Paxton Matters will continue to pursue the removal of Paxton as an option for Gipsy Hill School’s interim site.”

The school is based in Lambeth but has pupils from Southwark attending.

For more information about the proposals, visit paxtonmatters.org

 

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