More details have been released about a plan to turn a disused Twickenham mental hospital into a school – and it could involve changes at two other schools.

Richmond Council has struck a deal with South West London and St George’s Mental Health NHS Trust to buy a portion of St John’s Hospital, in Strafford Road, to increase the number of primary school places in the area.

This week, a consultation document giving parents more details about plans for primary school places in St Margarets and central and east Twickenham was released.

Opinions are being sought on two options. One involves expanding the junior department of St Mary’s CE Primary School from two classes a year to three, moving it from Richmond Road to the hospital site and putting a one-form primary school in its place.

The other is to put a new primary school on the St John’s Hospital site with one class per year in the infant department and two a year in the junior department, with St Mary’s remaining unchanged.

Both plans involve putting an extra class at Orleans Infant School, in Hartington Road, and will increase the number of classes in the area from five to seven. Both plans will also see more than 300 children on the hospital site.

Orleans had originally been part of plan with St Stephen’s Junior School, in Winchester Road, to turn both into two-form primary schools but it was scrapped after governors at the junior school felt the budget was not sufficient.

Councillor Malcolm Eady, Richmond Council;’s cabinet member for education and children’s services, said as progress had been made with the Orleans expansion it was decided to continue with it to get new reception classes in as soon as possible.

He said the Orleans expansion had the added bonus that parents north of the A316, who struggle to get their children into Twickenham schools, would have more chance of getting a place.

He added: “This gives us the opportunity to solve some problems.

“Option one means we can have the two St Mary’s schools in closer proximity to each other – in the short term, if we go down that route, they will have the problems of moving but in the long term there should be a much more united school.

“We have lots of room at St John’s, we had an architect map out an option for the site ,which is exciting people.

“I will be happy, it keeps the site in public ownership and there is a school in the middle of the community, it a great place for a school.

“The schools have reacted extremely positively and schools across the borough have come up with options to solve this problem – I’m extremely grateful.”

The hospital closed last autumn when Richmond and Twickenham Primary Care Trust (PCT), now NHS Richmond, elected to switch the purchasing of mental health care, which had been provided at St John’s to a cheaper, non-NHS supplier.

The school is planned for the corner of Amyand Park Road and Strafford Road – a 0.92 acre piece of land originally earmarked for care accommodation.

The consultation options

Option 1

School Infant classes Junior classes Orleans Infant School 4 0 St Stephen's Junior School 0 3 St Mary's Infant School 2 0 St Mary's Junior School (at St John's site) 0 3 New primary school (at St Mary's junior site) 1 1

Option 2

School Infant classes Junior classes Orleans Infant School 4 0 St Stephen's Junior School 0 3 St Mary's Infant School 2 0 St Mary's Junior School 0 2 New primary school (at St John's site) 1 2