After a number of years of forecasters telling us we have a temporary baby boom they are now clear we have a permanent problem – we need more school places on a permanent basis.
At full Council Assembly 25 January I had it confirm that in the Dulwich area ongoing we need an extra 60-75 reception places every year from 2015.
At Council Cabinet 20 November it was confirmed by council officials that the shortage is bigger and increased to 75-90 reception place per year by 2016 for the Dulwich area and for the Nunhead and Peckham Rye area 90 to 135 reception places per year by 2016. The two demand equate to 2 or 3 brand news schools.
The council’s plan is to ask the government for £40-50m to expand existing schools. But the ideal size of primary schools is two or three form entry. If you go above that size the adults and children don’t know each other – it becomes anonymous. Not an experience we’d wish for our youngest.
We know a German/English school are interested in being created in Southwark or Lambeth – we need more certaintythan this.
So the East Dulwich ward councillors have been in conversations with the Harris Federation. They have a clear track record of excellence at creating new schools that Ofsted rate as outstanding. None of our local Primary schools are rated outstanding yet. After many points and perspectives being shared they have agreed to apply for a new school serving the Dulwich area. But I’m hoping to persuade them to apply for a second primary school serving the east Dulwich/Peckham Rye/Nunhead area which has little school provision.
Our converaations have involved Sir Robin Bosher the ex. head of Fairlawn rated outstanding and Sir Dan Moyniham the chief executive of the Harris Federation. We’ve met him before when visiting Harris schools in East Dulwich.
We hope to persuade other local politicians for this to be cross-party and have contacted College, Nunhead, Peckham Rye and Village ward councillors.
The obvious site is a fifth of the Dulwich Hospital. To make that happen will take a lot of influence by the Department of Education over the Department of Health. I’d be amazed if Lord Harris and his team couldn’t make that happen.
To make a new school in Dulwich or the Peckham Rye/Nunhead area we need to find 80 children for each school who would attend ie. 1 and 2 year old children now. The families need to say that they would like their children to attend a new Harris Federation Primary school. It doesn’t commit them but it does indicate they’d like to attend if built and if we succeed will ensure we have enough extra excellent places locally for all our children.
Please see attached form Harris have kindly produced.
Please complete the last page and post it OR email me your name, your child’s date of birth, your postcode. Or just email me if you’d like to be kept in touch with this campaign.
Together we can make this happen.