Plans drawn up to provide extra places at popular schools as part of a £15m investment in local education

Plans are now being drawn up to expand some of the borough’s most popular schools after councillors agreed to invest more than £15m in providing more classroom places for the borough’s children.

Councillors have agreed to spend £15.6m adding extra classrooms at some of the borough’s primary, secondary and special schools.

The proposed investment will mean local schools have enough classroom space to cater for rising pupils numbers and also provide local parents with more choice.

At secondary level the following schools will expand:

• St Cecilia’s CofE in Southfields, which is specialist in maths and music tuition, will increase its intake by one extra form of entry and expand its sixth form provision
• Chestnut Grove Academy in Balham, which specialises in art and design will increase admissions by one form of entry, while the investment in new facilities will also enable the school to expand its sixth form provision.
• Ark Academy in Putney will add two forms of entry and increase sixth form provision to its intake by utilising available space in its existing building which was recently upgraded as part of a £30m school modernisation scheme.

Wandsworth's proportion of outstanding schools is the eight highest in the country

Last month, at the start of the current academic year, Burntwood School began offering additional classroom places following an earlier round of schools investment.

This added to extra places at Graveney School in Tooting which expanded its intake from 250 pupils to 280 for the 2105/16 academic year.

The total cost of expanding the provision at St Cecilia’s, Chestnut Grove and Ark Academy is around £12m.
At primary level, Brandlehow School in Putney will admit an extra class to meet growing demand from parents in this part of the borough.

Additional resources will also be invested in special educational needs provision to support children with a range of disabilities.

Using a Department for Education capital grant of £1.9m, improved special needs facilities are to be provided at Ravenstone primary school in Balham.

A further cash injection of £350,000 will allow two new classes at Paddock special school in Roehampton which caters for children with moderate and severe learning difficulties.

And Riversdale School in Southfields will see the establishment of a new unit to support children with special needs. 

The council’s cabinet member for education Cllr Sarah McDermott said: “This is a substantial programme of investment that will provide additional classroom places at some of our best performing and most popular schools.

”This is great news for local parents who will have more options and greater choice when it comes to choosing a school for their children.

“And I particularly welcome the extra investment in our special needs provision which will benefit some of the borough’s most vulnerable children, and ensure that more children can attend their nearest local neighbourhodd school."

Wandsworth offers parents some of the best schools in London. Currently 96 per cent of all schools in the borough at both primary and secondary level are officially rated as either good or outstanding by education standards watchdog Oftsed.

The proportion of outstanding schools in Wandsworth is the eight highest in the country.