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Primary school on hospital site

Plans get a step closer.

Surbiton Hospital site in Ewell Road is being considered as a possible option to house one of two badly needed new primary schools in the borough, Kingston Council's lead member for education Councillor Patricia Bamford has confirmed.

She said the hospital was one of a number of sites officers were looking at for the new schools, which need to be ready by September 2012 to cope with the continuing surge in reception place applications the borough has received in the past two years.

Despite Surbiton parents submitting a 297-signature petition to the council on March 31, demanding more capacity be added in the local area, Coun Bamford denied the decision to consider the hospital site was "solely related" to parental pressure.

Comments

Perhaps if pupils all faced the front,all ipods and mobiles phones removed and some basic disciplines applied,the class sizes could quite easily return to the 44/46 pupils per class that I enjoyed.I checked back on old school reports to verify these numbers.

Then we should not need to build new schools,unless of course the planners have failed to spot the huge increases in child bearing aged young women that have come to the UK over the last two census periods.

The site is massive so what else is planned and why cannot the Oakhill Practice be combined with a tower block hospital thus using the valuable space above?Guys Hospital seems to work as a tower.

This is the perfect location for a school as it is easily accessible by foot from all areas of Surbiton. Even those in the more distant Maple Road area that is served by the over-subscribed St Andrews school could walk here in under 15 minutes by cutting through the station.

With the best will in the world, money (or other contructs for sharing goods and services) is always an issue.

So, how are the council going to raise the cash folks?

Fag an Bealach

Money should not be an obstacle when it comes to our childrens futures as they are the future, I think this is an ideal site for this project, the sooner we get started the better, I will speak with my sister about this proposal as she works as a teacher at a nearby primary school and was a successful nominee in the London Regional Young Teacher of the Year Awards. Maybe I could send my daughter here, I know she was keen to visit the Eco-Pirates on Raven's Ait Island, another worthy community based project.

What a great idea!

The pressure on the schools in incredible in this area.
The teachers are incredible.
How they put up with the increased pupil numbers, as well as the increased beurocracy i don't know.

I couldn't do it, as it would drive me mad.

Let's hope it happens. But where will the money come from?
Fag an Bealach

Good News on the funding front.

Hopefully,
1. The inept RBK resource managers will have the wit to be able to get a large slice of this emergency funding.
2. The Kingston PCT will agree to hand over the land required at the vastly underused Surbiton Hospital site, whose core functions could easily be provided from any number of alternative sites in Surbiton (even IF a superclinic were built) .

-----

£200M Primary School Fund Announced

The Department for Children Schools and Families has announced they are setting up a £200m fund to build permanent classrooms for reception pupils over the next two years in areas facing exceptional growth in demand.

The funding will be available to local authorities facing a 15 per cent growth in four and five-year-olds across their areas between September 2008 and September 2011 or very high localised pockets of growth within their boundaries – which are higher than the authority’s own original pupil projections.

All bidders will be expected to build extra permanent places by September 2011 and money will be held back from future capital funding allocations where actual pupil numbers fall short of predictions.

Local authorities will have four weeks to bid for the funding and allocations will be made in September – with funding released in 2010-11.

Annual pupil number figures, published in April, show increases in reception class pupils between January 2008 to January 2009 in 126 local authorities – with an average growth of 3.3 per cent.

But there are specific areas, particularly in London, which are forecasting with much larger, unanticipated demands over the next three years and have a shortage of primary school places across their area.

The funding comes on top of the £1.75 billion of additional investment being made available through the Primary Capital Programme over the next two years – supported by significant investment from local authorities.

Over 700 primary schools have already been rebuilt or completely refurbished since 1997 – but the Primary Capital Programme will extend that and revamphalf of all primary and primary-age special schools by 2022-23 as part of local authorities’ long-term school rebuilding plans.

The funding is also on top of the £939 million brought forward from 2010-11 school budgets to 2009-10 with a further £30 million for play facilities – to accelerate thousands of school modernisation projects across England by 12 months and boost the construction industry.

Ed Balls said:
“Parents should be able to send their children to a local school they want – and by law, it is down to local authorities to make sure there are sufficient school places available to meet parental demand across their areas.

“Birth rate has been rising nationally since 2001 and the Government has already specifically made available funding to deal with projected pupil growth - which has to depend on accurate population projections.

“But while it is clear that some local authorities simply did not plan or budget effectively for how rising birth rates would affect them locally, others are facing exceptional, unanticipated rises in demand for reception-age pupils over the next few years because of a combination of much localised circumstances.

“This is not about bailing out poor planning. It is absolutely right to give additional funding, on top of record capital investment, to build extra classrooms and facilities in areas facing sudden increases in demand which could not reasonably have been forecast. Housing children in mobile or hired classrooms is only a temporary solution – so it is vital that local authorities facing the greatest pressure on their capital budgets address these issues urgently using this emergency funding and the longer-term Primary Capital Programme.”

The £200m has been made available from a £400m DCSF contingency fund set aside last year to support any slowdown in private sector support for BSF due to the credit crunch. Treasury has agreed that is prudent to release the funding because Private Finance Initiative deals continue to close.

My understanding is that Surbiton Hospital has restrictive covenants from its build date as the good people of the area actually paid for it.

Perhaps if we can get away from party politics and really develop the whole site to include both a school and some form of Hospital alongside the much vaunted poly clinics our masters are so keen on.The site is big enough to provide housing as well,maybe all units should be low cost to keep the PC brigades happy,stick a few solar panels and windmills on top and one even pleases the eco warriors.

The use of both public funding and private development, all carefully controlled by some form of Trust that is not politically fixed and has a real accountant in charge,could see this massive site really become a beacon of urban development that our Grandchildren will marvel at in years to come.

Sadly we do not have any men or women with vision like the great Canal and Road builders of the industrial revolution so like most areas that have been developed locally it will be a poor affair with no parking or improved access to and from the Ewell Road.

The McKinsey report stated that the site was big enough for a Polyclinic and either
a primary school (I never heard whether this was a two or three form entry)
OR
a community hub type building to provide council services from, but not both.

There are so many empty buildings in Surbiton that could be used as a polyclinic, or redeveloped as community hub.
The main street in particular, could benefit from the extra footfall that would result. The lower part of Victoria Road, opposite the YMCA is in a bit of a bad state - why not develop a community hub there?

The large office block on the Ewell Road (at the top of Browns Road) would make an excellent polyclinic, and has an existing PCT office block next door. The offices next door could easily be redeveloped if needed.

There are no alternative sites big enough to accomodate a new school, close to the town centre where the school places shortage is most acute. The school really has to go there, and go in there quickly, if the Ewell Road isn't to become even more congested with parents needlessly forced to drive their kids to schools at the far side of the borough.

Oh, and under no circumstances should any more housing be built - that's the big contibutor to the current primary school crisis.

The planners lack of planning is now coming home to roost:

1. The primary schools crisis is well documented.

2. RBK is proposing to cram a five storey secondary school onto a site that is half the recommeneded area fora school of its size. There will be no sports facilities on the proposed site, with pupils forced to go to a different site to do PE.

3. The Surrey Comet this week reported that Kingston college has run out of space and is in a desperate hunt ot finmd new premises.

This is a direct result of failing to plan properly.
They allowed all these new housing developmentes/ flat conversions.
They've proposed a massive increase in Kingston's retail space, but haven't produced a single proposal to expand the community infrastructure needed.

You are exactly right as concerns the school places. The Kingston area must have at least trebled in size in the last 40 years - it would be interesting to see how many new schools have bee built in that time.

Surbiton is a particular case in point. There are many roads of grand Victorian houses in the town centre that probably housed one family 100 years ago, 2-3 families 50 years ago (large flats) and 5-6 families in much smaller flats now. This has caused problems for all elements of infrastructure.

Kingston College is a slightly separate problem. If you walk past Waitrose in the morning you will see hordes of people who come from outside of the borough to attend the college. I think that they should drastically reduce the catchment area of the college. This would at least RBK to TRY to plan properly for demand.

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