Monday, 26 March 2012

Another new secondary school considered for borough

A new centre of educational excellence could be established at Richmond upon Thames College, including the creation of a new secondary school.
Richmond Council has agreed to work in partnership with the College to carry out a full feasibility study, considering all the options available for the Egerton Road site.Over the past year this Council has emphasised its commitment to increasing secondary school capacity in order to ensure quality and choice for all residents.  As demand for borough primary schools increases; the quality improves across current secondary schools and sixth forms are created, a higher percentage of local families are choosing a Richmond secondary school.

Since January, residents have been consulted over plans for one new school on the Clifden site. However, there will still be a longer-term demand for additional places. Over the next six months Richmond upon Thames College will work with the Council to consider all the options to create a new educational vision for the College, including what can be done to improve the college buildings and investigate if a new secondary school could be accommodated on the site.

Cllr Paul Hodgins, Richmond Council Cabinet Member for Schools, said:

“There has been much debate over the past few months about the prospect of a new secondary on the Clifden site, and rightly so. Few issues are asimportant to our borough as education. We have always said that we may need two new secondary schools in the medium to long term to meet future demand and this partnership opportunity provides us with the chance to explore the possibilities.

“We are already working closely with Richmond upon Thames College. The College already provides a very broad range of excellent educational options for students and we are keen to work with them to protect and develop their unique and important role in the borough.“The feasibility study will look at all the options. It will not just consider creating a new secondary school but will look at how we can work together to make the best use of the site – with the aim of creating a high quality secondary and post-16 educational centre of excellence that will benefit the whole of Richmond upon Thames.”

David Ansell, Principal at Richmond upon Thames College, added:

“The College is delighted to be working with Richmond Council on this feasibility study.  The opportunity to be part of an educational centre of excellence with the College working in direct partnership with a new secondary school is one we look forward to exploring.”