School plan at Mortlake Brewery
Article

A new school on the Brewery site:


join the debate next Monday

Proposals for a new secondary school on Mortake’s Brewery sports field site raise many questions. On Monday 18th March, at 7.30pm at St Mary’s, we are hosting a public meeting that may provide some answers – and we invite everyone to join us.

School places are certainly an issue of concern for Mortlake and Sheen families – as anyone caught up in feverish school-gates chat in the run-up to ‘National Offers Day’ on 1st March will attest. Our primary school population has been growing, and with it the demand for more local secondary provision.

But is a new school, on this particular site, the best long-term solution for our community? Or would it make more sense to invest in and strengthen the borough’s existing secondary schools?

On Wednesday, two local educationists will present their findings and discuss alternative options. Geoff Stanton, former Vice Principal of Richmond upon Thames College, and Geoff Woodhouse, former mathematics lecturer and educational statistician, will cover some key issues they have researched, including:

  • Is increase in demand for secondary places as high as the Council believes?
  • Can a new school be built on the Brewery site in time to meet peak demand?
  • Would a new school have a negative impact on existing local secondaries?
  • Could RPA and Christ’s be expanded?
  • Would this be cost-effective and could the Government fund it?
  • Is the Brewery site the right location to serve the needs of secondary school pupils?
  • How would the new school impact traffic congestion – and child safety?
  • What about the need for additional primary school places?
  • How could we best meet local educational needs and retain green space?

 

Their findings – which should interest all local parents – suggest the rise in demand for secondary places will occur before the new school can be built. They will also produce evidence to suggest that new local school secondary places would best be provided on existing school sites.

Mortlake Brewery Community Group has a constructive focus and our aim is not to prevent development per se, but to ensure it meets local needs. So the good news is that the ‘two Geoffs’ also have a positive alternative to suggest on Wednesday: a solution that would retain the playing field in Mortlake, avoid disruption at Chalker’s Corner and loss of green space, protect road safety and improve local primary school provision.

Want to know what it is? Come and join us on Monday evening at 7.30pm at St Mary’s Church, Mortlake High Street, SW14 8JA. We’d love to know what you think.