Richmond Council welcomes the news that the Education Skills Funding Agency has finalised the land acquisition from the London Borough of Hounslow for a permanent site for Turing School, in Whitton.
Over the past 18 months, the Education Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) has been looking to find a permanent site for the school. The school’s current site in Queen’s Road, Teddington, is not large enough to be a long-term option.
Following negotiations between the ESFA and Hounslow Council, who own the open space behind Hospital Bridge Road in Whitton, the acquisition is now complete.
Building the school on that site will be subject to planning permission and full community consultation as part of that process. It is expected that the planning application process, including an assessment of traffic implications, will commence in summer 2018.
Subject to planning consent, the new school facilities are likely to be ready for occupation in 2020. However, as the current facilities at Queen’s Road are unable to facilitate a further intake before then, the Council has stepped in to help bridge the gap so that the popular school can continue to run.
The Council has agreed to offer the use of a nearby school site, Clarendon School, in Hanworth Road, Hampton.
In addition, the Council also welcomes Turing House’s firm commitment that the school will review their admission policy if and when their planning application, expected to be submitted later this year, is approved.
Cllr Susan Chappell, Richmond Council Cabinet Member for Schools, said:
“There is now clarity around the permanent location for the school. Which, subject to the Planning process, should be open in three years. We have long forecast that the borough will need additional secondary school places in a few years’ time. This news is one more step on the journey to providing a permanent home within the west of the borough.
“I know that these negotiations took longer than expected, but, I hope that our announcement of interim accommodation will reassure parents, carers and children that the Council is committed to supporting Turing House.
“I am also pleased that the school has reaffirmed their commitment to review their admissions policy. Ensuring that Turing also benefits children and families near to their new permanent home is vital to its future success.”
Cllr Tom Bruce, Cabinet Member for Education and Children’s Services, Hounslow Council, added:
“We are pleased to be in a position to facilitate the London Borough of Richmond in its work to ensure high quality school places. This is complex work and it requires careful collaboration between Councils as we manage the significant shifts in school age population.”
The current Clarendon site will be vacated in July 2018. By then, the primary-aged pupils will move to the former Newhouse site, and the new buildings for the secondary aged pupils at Clarendon, on the Richmond Education and Enterprise Campus in Twickenham, will be ready for occupation.
The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA), whose task it is to secure sites for free schools, will make some adaptations to the Clarendon buildings to make them suitable for Turing to use.
— from a Richmond Council press release - 19 March 2018