|New Primary School For Putney|
As the Council announces purchase of the old Putney Hospital
Parents in Putney will soon have greater choice over their children’s schooling with the opening of a brand new primary school on the site of the vacant Putney Hospital.
Earlier this week the council exchanged contracts for the purchase of the long-disused hospital site from its owners NHS Wandsworth.
Once the purchase is completed, the council plans to build a brand new primary school, which will provide 420 primary places and up to 50 full time nursery places for children living in the west of the borough.
The aim is for the new primary school and nursery to begin admitting pupils in September 2015.
There is growing pressure on school places in this part of Putney with some parents already struggling to find state schools for their children.
Wandsworth’s birth rate is growing at a faster rate than almost anywhere else in the country so it is vital that the council makes timely arrangements to provide extra school capacity in the years ahead.
To cater for the rise in pupil numbers, plans are also being developed that could see other new schools open across the borough in the coming years, while consideration is also being given to proposals for the expansion of existing high performing local schools.
Putney’s new school will be run either as an academy or possibly as a free school meaning it is part of the state sector, but with greater freedoms to manage its own affairs and work in partnership with other schools, academies and education establishments.
Cabinet member for education and children’s services Cllr Kathy Tracey said:
“There is a clearly defined need for additional school places in this part of the borough and it’s important that the council plans ahead and acts to provide these extra places. Our aim is to build a bright new attractive and modern primary school that will have a double form entry and its own nursery provision and will cater for up to 470 local children.
“We hope to complete the purchase early next year and will then be working in close partnership with the Wimbledon and Putney Commons Conservators and with local parents to come up with detailed proposals for the new school, which will of course be subject to the usual scrutiny under planning regulations.”
Putney Hospital, which is situated on the eastern edge of Putney Common, closed services to patients in 1998. It has remained vacant ever since.
The council’s initial plans are for the demolition of the existing buildings and their replacement with a new primary school and a residential redevelopment on the remainder of the site to provide 24 flats. Proceeds from the residential element will help pay for the new educational facilities.
The council is aiming to consult local residents about its proposed designs before Christmas, and then based on that feedback, finalise its plans and submit a planning application in the New Year.