Contact us: Got a photo? Text 'SLPICS' to 80360. Got a story? Call the newsdesk: 020 8744 4260
Richmond College secondary school consultation begins
The consultation has begun for a secondary school at Richmond College create a centre of educational excellence.
The proposals, backed by college governors, include a new secondary school, new improved community resources and explore the possibility of new purpose-built accommodation for special educational needs school, Clarendon School.
The college’s principal David Ansell said the college’s neighbours would be most concerned about additional teenagers walking along the streets, but said the plans would mean fewer students on site.
The college currently has 3,250 students, but would have 2,800 following the expected developments. At its peak in 2008/09 the college had 4,500.
One option Mr Ansell hoped would relieve student numbers along residential roads leading to college was for students to use the River Crane pathway, which the council said was still in the early stages of discussions, with developments not expected for a while.
Each school will have its own entrance, with possibilities of using the A316 as one access point, which is currently used to access Merits restaurant and the college’s playing fields.
The expected building site will be on these playing fields, but Mr Ansell said the outdoor sports facility would be replaced elsewhere.
He added: “This isn’t the one and only opportunity for consultation. If we go ahead with the plans there will be further consultations as part of the planning process.”
Mr Ansell said the three schools could work together on various project and events.
The development for Clarendon School would also be an upgrade for pupils, who currently use buildings built in the 1960s.
John Kipps, headteacher at Clarendon School, said: “Being co-located with a new secondary school and the college would give much improved opportunities for inclusion, access to a range of specialist facilities and better community links for our vulnerable young people.
“It will also enable more of our pupils to gain greater independence, particularly in terms of their journey to and from school.”
Briefing events will be held on Tuesday, February 19, from 9.30am to 10.30am in Clarendon Hall at York House or Monday, February 25, from 6.30pm to 7.30pm at the college.
The consultation is available at richmond.gov.uk/richmond_college_consultation and in hard copy at Twickenham library, the Civic Centre or at the college reception.
Following the consultation both the college and the council will review the results and decide whether to move forward with the next stage of feasibility study – which would include confirming any funding arrangements.
Deadline for feedback is March 11 and a planning application is expected to be submitted at the end of 2013.