‘Innovative’ new education campus opens to Camden community

Cllr Sarah Hayward cuts the ribbon with pupils and staff outside the new campus. Picture: Polly Hanc

Cllr Sarah Hayward cuts the ribbon with pupils and staff outside the new campus. Picture: Polly Hancock. - Credit: Archant

A £30million education campus, comprising part of a Camden primary school, has been opened by council chiefs.

The Netley Campus, in Stanhope Street, Euston, has replaced Netley Primary School’s ageing nursery and reception building, alongside a new adult learning community centre and a primary pupil referral unit.

Building work was started on the campus in 2011 and has been funded by the council’s flagship Community Investment Programme (CIP), which involves selling out of date and underused council-owned buildings to generate money to invest in new homes, schools and community facilities.

Camden Council leader, Cllr Sarah Hayward, officially launched the campus, which is being billed as a learning centre for the community, on Thursday last week.

She said: “The Netley Campus really embodies the innovative nature of the CIP. By rethinking how we can overcome cuts to our capital funding for schools, we’ve been able to provide a new and improved learning environment.”

Netley Primary School’s reception and nursery pupils have moved into their new classroom facilities on the site and also have access to a new multi-use hall.

An improved playground and outdoor learning facilities are due to be completed by the end of the year.

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The campus also includes new teaching and crèche premises for the Camden adult community learning service and a new base for the council’s primary pupil referral unit.

Cllr Angela Mason, cabinet member for children, said: “It’s fabulous, it’s the future. It’s bringing together health services and education right from tiny children to the adult centres for learning.”

Bavaani Nanthabalan, executive headteacher of Netley and Torriano Junior School, in Kentish Town, said the new campus was essential for engaging parents with pupils’ education.

Only eight per cent of pupils at Netley speak English as their first language.

“We have the highest level of deprivation in the borough and 25 per cent of our pupils are on the special needs register,” said Ms Nanthabalan.

“We have families that can be targeted to ensure they have the right kind of support or can even enter a range of classes that will better them.

“Being part of the complex allows our staff to learn from other teams that are in the building. We have the expertise to help the whole community.”

The project will also deliver 70 new council flats in Netley Street for tenants set to be uprooted by the development of HS2. HS2 Ltd – the company in charge of the £50billion rail link scheme – have agreed to cover the cost of the flats.