A new dawn for secondary school education in Camden
Camden needs an additional eight forms of entry (FOE) at secondary school level (ie 240 pupil places). The only location we found large enough to place a new six FOE school within the timeframe of Camden s place in the Government s Building Schools for th
Camden needs an additional eight forms of entry (FOE) at secondary school level (ie 240 pupil places). The only location we found large enough to place a new six FOE school within the timeframe of Camden's place in the Government's Building Schools for the Future Programme (BSF) was at Adelaide Road.
This new UCL Academy will help address the demand for places in the north-west of the borough, and will also have positive knock-on effects which will help young people elsewhere in Camden. However we have also been able to draw up plans to expand South Camden Community School by 2 FOE to address in part the demand for places in the South of Camden.
Camden's Executive recognises the concerns that have been expressed at the expansion of South Camden and I would like to make the following points:
- as part of the BSF redesign of the South Camden site, we will bring the Medburn Centre and Somers Town Sports Centre into the body of the school;
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- our reorganisation of the buildings will free up enough space to have a full-size, all-weather sports pitch at the school - only the second in the entire borough;
- this proposed reorganisation will also enable there to be both more teaching space and more external space than at the current school;
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- the intention is to create a 'schools-within-a-school' model, replicating the qualities and advantages of a small school whilst achieving the benefits of economies of scale and specialists facilities that are only viable in a larger school.
We can't wait for a site south of Euston Road to become available for a new school because we need to provide school places within the timeframe of BSF. However, the Government's promise of additional BSF money to equip a new school south of Euston Road outside of our BSF 'round' has been welcomed and we will continue to be alert should an opportunity arise (although the Government hasn't offered any funds to help us purchase a site). The likelihood is that a potential opportunity will coincide with a change in future Government policy which will make it much easier to start-up small secondary schools than it is today.
In the meantime, the £200 million BSF programme provides us the resources to think again about how secondary education is delivered in Camden. It enables us to try to replicate the benefits of smaller schools in our secondaries as we seek to deliver further improvements in exam results. It's a massive opportunity. There will of course be scary moments for all those associated with our schools as all bar Haverstock will see considerable demolition and construction. However the pain will be worth it as we see fantastic new schools being built which will be able to accommodate many more of our young people.
Cllr Andrew Mennear
Executive Member for Schools