Chiswick School To Expand Intake Of Students
Council to spend millions creating extra places across the borough
Chiswick School is to expand from a seven to a nine-form entry from 2017 under a new funding plan for schools announced by Hounslow Council.
Secondary schools in Chiswick, Heston and Isleworth are the first in the borough to have their expansion plans backed with money from the London Borough of Hounslow totalling nearly £18 million to cope with increased demand for places.
Chiswick School Head Teacher Tony Ryan said that the school was delighted to have been selected for this first wave of the local authority’s funding for expansion of schools in the borough. It will be the first major capital project at Chiswick School since the early 1980s.
The school recently announced its intention to increase its roll from its current position of 7.2 forms of entry (215 students yearly), to 8.0 forms of entry (240) from September 2015. The plans approved last night allow for a further expansion to 270 students/year from 2017.
Mr Ryan said: "As the school has become more successful in recent years the number of students wanting a place at Chiswick has increased proportionately. This project, alongside other plans that we have in motion, will allow students who would otherwise be on our waiting list to experience a top quality education at Chiswick.”
However, he added, parents need not worry about their son or daughter getting " lost" amongst larger numbers.. “We pride ourselves on breaking the numbers down into smaller groups where individual pastoral and academic attention is guaranteed.”
He said the school had been working with local authority officials and the ‘place planning group’ comprising officers from Children’s Services, regeneration and environmental directorates along with secondary Headteachers, for some time. Architects and planners had been engaged by the local authorities to carry out feasibility studies and from this a range of proposals have been drawn up.
"There is still a lot of work to do to ‘fine tune’ these proposals and in many respects the hard work starts now, but Chiswick is delighted to have been selected for this first wave of the local authority’s expansion."
The project at Chiswick will combine with similar ones at Heston Community School and Isleworth & Syon School, together with the proposed HIP Free School to be sited in Brentford, to meet the impending need from students currently in years 4/5 at local primary schools.
The LBH Cabinet last night (Tuesday 10 February) approved a recommendation by the Cabinet Member for Education and Children’s Services Cllr Tom Bruce to release the initial funding for Phase One of a programme which will run until 2020. The total cost of expansion at the three schools in Phase One is £17.9m..
Hounslow Council will now progress to procurement talks in order to eventually award construction contracts to firms to carry out the expansion works.
The School Expansion programme was developed following a report to Cabinet in September last year outlining how the continued growth in the number of children in Hounslow would result in the need for additional secondary school places.
Cllr Tom Bruce said: “Expanding secondary school capacity to meet the growing demand means that we will be able to offer as many children as possible a local school place in their home authority. The expansion programme is part of our investment in education – ensuring that there will be an even better choice of schools for local children, helping us to provide them with the best start in life”.
Local MP Mary Macleod welcomed a separate announcement that Gunnersbury Catholic School is to receive a share of a £2 billion Department for Education fund for improving and refurbishing school buildings,
The fund, called the ‘Priority School Building Programme’ (PSBP) is the first part of a £6 billion investment in the school estate by the Government.
Mary said: “When I visited the school in late October, it was clear that it was an outstanding place to learn with a great team behind it. I was happy to support Mr Burke’s bid for funding to rebuild the sports hall and PE accommodation. I know how important sport is to the school and this funding will really help to support their already growing sport programmes and opportunities.”
Headteacher of Gunnersbury Catholic School, Mr Kevin Burke, said: “We are delighted to have secured funding from the Department of Education to replace our current Sports Hall and PE accommodation. At Gunnersbury Catholic School sport and physical activity have always been viewed as integral to a quality education. The proposed developments will enable the continued provision of outstanding sporting opportunities, education and enjoyment to our current and future students.”
February 11, 2015