Debate the future of Haberdashers' Aske's Hatcham College

Date: Friday 11th January, 5.45pm for 6.00pm start
Venue: Edmund Waller School, Waller Road

The proposal to incorporate Monson primary school (Deptford) with Haberdashers' Aske's Hatcham College (Telegraph Hill) has provoked controversy, with a number of local residents concerned that it could adversely affect nearby primary schools such as such as Kender and Edmund Waller and, in or on the edges of the Brockley Area, John Stainer and Myatt Gardens.

Predictably, some of the debate has been clouded by ideologically driven sound and fury as a result of HAHC's Academy status. But beneath all of that, the plans do raise some serious questions.

HAHC is a successful Academy with an annual intake of just over 200 pupils. That means places are highly prized. Protestors complain that, by guaranteeing places at HAHC for Monson pupils, closer and more successful schools would lose out. The "fairness" of that arrangement is highly emotive and, as parents of a boy who may one-day hope to attend HAHC (although at this time, the "real nappies" question is the more pressing), Brockley Central are not exactly objective commentators.

However, what is beyond doubt is that HAHC's popularity means that a high-proportion of its students already come from outside its local catchment area and this plan risks exacerbating the problem, removing it further from its local community.

In response to the debate, Cllr Robin Cross has arranged a public meeting with Mayor Steve Bullock. Cllr Cross says:

"This is a chance for you to put views directly to the Mayor, and to discuss the subject with him before any final decision is taken on whether to go ahead with the policy.

"Please let me know if you intend to come. You can reach me at or on 020 8469 8276.

"I realise this is short notice, as we have only just been given confirmation that the meeting can go ahead. However, I also realise the importance this subject has for many of you and I do hope you can join the meeting."