Lewisham pushes Ladywell Fields College primary plan

The Mayor of Lewisham has given approval to consult on proposals with to add junior school places in 2013 by extending provision at Prendergast Ladywell Fields College, Crofton Park, so that it becomes an all-age school offering two forms of entry in the primary phase.

This is part of Lewisham's strategy to accommodate a bulge in pupil numbers, which is putting severe pressure on school places. A mini baby boom occurred in the borough and if Lewisham was relying on the traditional exodus of parents to other parts of the country or to private schools, neither has materialised.

The Economist [client] reports that this problem is not unique to Lewisham. Boroughs across the capital are experiencing similar anguish over school places and cafe territorialism:

London imports the young and exports the old, the theory goes—or went... But a startling demographic change has drastically slowed the conveyor belt...

London contributed fully 37% of England’s natural population increase between 2009 and 2010. Many parents are now staying put, thanks to a sticky mortgage market that makes it hard for buyers to get a loan and a sticky labour market that makes it hard for anyone to be sure of a job... Net outflows to the rest of Britain are half what they were in 2005... 
Primary schools have been the first to cry havoc... By 2015-16 greater London will need around 70,000 more school places, London Councils says. 

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Where are the new pupils going to be taught? My daughters attend the school and we can't figure it out.

Anonymous said...

Lewisham tends to rely on something that may or may not happen in the future to fudge on having a coherent policy in place - they've tried the same thing with traffic as well, banking on a 'modal change' in the way that people travel in the future - well, when the oil runs out and everybody rides bikes I guess they'll be right - then they can say 'i told you so' (oh no, of course by then we'll all be wearing hover boots running on cow urine)

Still, the officers who run the Lewisham education service are well paid . . .

Danja said...

Cafe territorialism anguish made me laugh.

THNick said...

Anon - in that past it would have been stupid to not rely on this. As the economist article quoted pointed out, in the past there was a big exodus of young families out of London. If Lewisham provided loads of unnecessary spaces you'd be criticising them for that (and on the other side, if councils in Kent hadn't allowed for people to move out, you'd have criticised them for being short sighted).

Now, what are Lewisham's plans for when these kids get to secondary age?

Anonymous said...

@Anon 10.20 - apparently they will be taught in the existing school. They are going to reduce the numbers of secondary places to cope with 2fe of primary. Well done Lewisham - another great idea. Shall i mention that this 'bulge' was already predicted in 2006 when the plan to reduce Lewisham Bridge from 2 form to 1 form but the council didnt want to hear their own reports....primary phase children will be taught in a school designed for secondary aged pupils...

Anonymous said...

@ Anon 15:44 -
- Where did you read that they would be taught in the same building?
- Where did you read that ther ewould be a reduction of secondary places?
As far as I can tell (bearing in mind that the full consultation/details are not yet available) neither of these is what is planned:

Proposal to extend provision at Prendergast Ladywell Fields College so that it becomes an all-age school offering 2 forms of entry in the primary phase whilst retaining its current 8 forms of secondary entry
7.1 This was last considered by Mayor & Cabinet at the meeting held April 20th 2011, when it was agreed that the project should be put on hold for subsequent review pending the receipt of information about future capital funding from 2012.
7.2 Whilst the funding announced to date is still short of the amount needed to meet projected future demand in full, officers are confident that sufficient will
be available to deliver 2 forms of primary phase entry at Prendergast Ladywell Fields College from September 2013.
7.3 The proposal will extend the diversity of schools available to parents by establishing an all-age school to serve the Lewisham and Brockley population.
It will also extend the influence of the Leathersellers Federation of schools.
7.9 A feasibility study and design proposal have been undertaken. Prendergast Ladywell Fields College was built through a Private Finance Initiative, therefore the feasibility & design have been discussed with the Special
Purposes Vehicle (SPV) to ensure that they are compatible with the Private Finance contract. The accommodation will be located on retained estate. It will link at one point to the secondary phase building and there will need to be
links into services/utilities
7.11 It is now timely to launch a stakeholder consultation with the aim of including the places in the 2013 Admissions booklet. A further report on the outcomes of the consultation will be brought to Mayor & Cabinet on April 18th 2012.

Anonymous said...

Are they not going to knock the illegally built block that they put in the Hillyfields which was supp to be temporary whilst improving the secondary school?

NAT said...

Anon 18:38 The Hilly Fields Prendergast prefab buildings are now up for consideration by the council for an extension to their siting there until late 2013.

Tamsin said...

Nice precedent for Haberdashers to keep the temporary pre-fabs looming over the illegally built fence on their Pepys Road site.

Leathersellers Fedration - are we getting back to the middle ages with the guild rivalries?

Anonymous said...

@anon 16.09 - i know members of staff at both Prendergast vale and ladywell fields - there will be no extra buildings and there has to be a reduction in secondary intake as the building only has capacity for around 800

Anonymous said...

yes, you may know teachers at the school but they may not know all of the plans - seeing as they haven't been released yet... it appears to me from this:
'7.9 A feasibility study and design proposal have been undertaken... The accommodation will be located on retained estate. It will link at one point to the secondary phase building and there will need to be
links into services/utilities'

that there are plans for an additional building?

Anonymous said...

Apparently crofton (prendergast ladywell fields) was burnt down yesterday but that's jus rumors I'm not sure.

Deborah bruce said...

My son has just got a place at Prendergast Ladywell in September. I am pleased because I really liked the school when I looked round, but he is anxious because he doesn't know anyone else who will be going. Are there any parents out there who have been offered a place for their child in Sept Year 7 intake who would be interested in putting their child in touch with my son?

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