William Hogarth and St Mary's Primary Schools Set To Expand?

Proposals could result in 60 new reception places for Chiswick children


Projected Demand for Reception Sees Situation Worsening

Council To Review Primary School Catchment Areas

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Proposals for a Chiswick-wide consultation to deal with the rise in demand for primary school places are being considered by Hounslow Council's Executive Committee this week.

Earlier this year, the Council undertook a similar consultation in other areas of the borough however, Chiswick was ommitted at the time because of "more complex issues in this area, which are the subject of further, informal consultation with the schools at this stage.”

The decision to go ahead with a wider consultation will be taken on Wednesday 3rd June by Cllr Linda Davies, Hounslow's Lead Member for Children's Services and Family.

In a report prepared for her consideration it is noted that projections suggest that the requirement for additional places in the Chiswick area is up to two forms of entry (each form of entry being 30 places) of reception places.

Of particular relevance to Chiswick is the comparatively high number of local children who are educated at independent schools and the potential for parents to select places in neighbouring local authorities. The impact of the recession on the number of pupils choosing independent education is difficult to quantify, although it may be reasonable to assume that the number of Reception age-children attending private provision is unlikely to increase in the short-term.
Cross-border pupil movement may be restricted by the increasing demand for Reception places in our neighbouring boroughs, which has the general impact of reducing the size of catchment areas and reducing the ability of parents to successfully select schools further away.

For these reasons the proposal is to provide an additional two forms of entry in Chiswick to reflect birth rate increases as well as increasing local demand for local state education.

Based on projected future demand, birth data, information regarding admissions and pupil distribution attention has focused on area north of the A4 in particular, where there are two community primary schools (Belmont, which admits 60 pupils a year, and William Hogarth, which admits 30 a year and took a bulge class in September 2008) and a Catholic primary school (St Mary's, which admits 30 pupils a year).

The proposal is to consult on the expansion of William Hogarth Primary School from 30 Reception places a year to 60 Reception places a year with effect from September 2011 and St Mary's Catholic Primary School from 30 Reception places a year to 60 Reception places a year with effect from September 2012.

The William Hogarth School is a rapidly improving school, as shown by the substantial improvement in KS2 results in 2008. Expansion to 2FE would provide additional resources to sustain this upward trend. The William Hogarth School is appropriately located for increased provision to serve its own catchment area (where there are more Reception pupils than the school can provide places for) and for the broader Chiswick community.

For St Mary's, the proposed expansion reflects the popularity of the school within the local catholic community. In recent years the catchment area of the school reduced to 900m and the Governors introduced a 'random allocation' process for admissions over-subscription for the 2009 entry year. As part of the expansion the Council and Westminster Diocese would strongly encourage the Governors to consult on reverting to distance-based criteria for over-subscription. St Mary's is proposed for permanent expansion a year later than William Hogarth because of a need to ensure the achievability of expansion on the site prior to the publication of the Statutory Notice.

The consultation is planned to commence on 15 June and remain open for 6 weeks, closing on 24 July 2009. During this time, a number of opportunities will be provided for those who are likely to be affected by the proposals to make their views known.

The full report can be read here

April 29, 2009