|Elliott School Head Believes In His School|
Says time has come to restore and preserve listed building
Mark Phillips, pictured left, the headteacher of Elliott has responded to residents' concerns over the sale of school playing fields:
"Elliott is making rapid progress, and we're proud of that, but there is only so far we can go in a building that is urgently in need of renovation and is not able to fully support the delivery of a modern curriculum.
"I believe that by working closely with an ambitious and experienced sponsor we can build on the school's heritage and create a thriving academy that will give Putney parents the school their children deserve.
"There is no proposal to demolish the school but it does urgently need to be restored. Its status as an important grade II listed building is recognised, and English Heritage is being consulted every step of the way. The existing building is leaky, gets too hot in the summer and freezing in the winter, the windows need replacing, its sports provision does not meet DFE or Sport England requirements, classrooms are small and inflexible and its disabled access is inadequate.
"We should and do treasure our heritage but we also need a school that works and is safe for pupils and staff. The time has come to restore and preserve what’s best about Elliott and replace that which is no longer adequate. In an ideal world, I would much prefer to retain all the land surrounding the school. Sadly that opportunity was lost with the cancellation of the Building Schools for the Future project and we are told the modernisation can only proceed if some land is sold to fund it. Although the site will be smaller the development will leave us with better play space and better sports facilities than we currently have."