Popular schools to provide more places with £15m investment in local education

Published: Thursday, January 9, 2020

Some of the borough’s most popular schools are being expanded so they can admit more pupils as part of a £15m investment to provide more classroom places in Wandsworth.

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Funding worth a total of around £15.4m has been set aside to pay for extra classrooms at some of the borough’s primary, secondary and special schools.

The funding is paying for an extra 1,000 places across the borough in time for the 2020/21 academic year. This includes an additional 825 places at secondary level and a further 150 sixth form places.

The proposed investment will mean local schools have enough classroom space to cater for rising pupil numbers and at the same time ensure that local parents have a wider choice of schools for their children to attend.

At secondary level the following schools are to expand – at a cost of around £12.4m.

  • St Cecilia’s CofE in Southfields, which specialist in music tuition, will increase its intake by one extra class – and add an extra 50 sixth form places.
  • Chestnut Grove Academy in Balham, which specialises in art and design, will increase admissions by the equivalent of 1.5 classes, while the investment in new facilities will also enable the school to expand its sixth form provision by 50 places.
  • Ark Academy in Putney will add two new classes to its intake by utilising available space in its existing building which was recently upgraded as part of a £30m school modernisation scheme and provide 50 extra sixth form places for its A level students.

In earlier investment rounds both Burntwood and Graveney schools were able increase their intake of secondary school pupils by offering additional classroom space.

At primary level, Brandlehow School in Putney will admit an extra class as part of a £3m project to meet growing demand from parents in this part of the borough.  

Additional resources have also been invested in special educational needs provision to support children with a range of disabilities.

The council has spent more than £17m constructing new school facilities for Greenmead School, while a further £2.5m has been invested in refurbishing and expanding Paddock School in Roehampton.

There is also a programme of annual capital investment worth around £2.1m to pay for the replacement of fixed assets like heating systems, roofs, windows, fire alarms and other pieces of school infrastructure.

Council leader Ravi Govindia said: “This is a substantial programme of investment that will provide additional classroom places at some of our best performing and most popular schools.

“It will also give parents wider options and greater choice when it comes to choosing a school for their children.

“And I particularly welcome the extra investment in our special needs provision which will directly benefit some of the borough’s most vulnerable children.”

Wandsworth offers parents some of the best schools in London. Currently 93 per cent of all schools in the borough at both primary and secondary level are officially rated as either good or outstanding by education standards watchdog Oftsed.