Primary School Places in North Lambeth

From Cllr David Amos’s Newsletter “Prince’s Councillors have received a number of communications from residents in response to the recent launch of Archbishop Sumner’s (ABS) campaign for two-form entry following its recent Outstanding award from Ofsted.  Some residents are supportive of the school’s expansion, whilst others have expressed concern about the effect an expansion would have on other schools in the area.  We have also received emails enquiring about ABS’s admissions policy.

Cllr David Amos has been leading on this issue, which is normal practice in a ward, though he and Cllr Joanne Simpson both share the same position.  Together with the Deputy Leader of the Council, Imogen Walker, David has twice met with the Head, staff and governors of ABS to discuss their campaign for an expansion.  At the meeting a number of factors were discussed which need to be addressed in order to establish how and when the school expands.

As things stand, the current projections and vacancies at local primary schools mean that two-form entry is likely to be needed from 2017. This is taking into account the projected increase in population as a result of future housing developments in the area.  We have received requests from ABS to look again at the data in case there are anomalies which show that an expansion will be needed before 2017.  We have also received requests from other schools to consider the data in their possession which allegedly shows how ABS’s latest bulge class (temporary extra class) negatively impacted on their school and how an earlier-than 2017 expansion might affect them. We can confirm that we will be honouring both requests and will be reconsidering all the data. However, as it stands and using the statistics from Lambeth Council’s projections (as far as the future can be predicted), we support two-form entry at ABS from 2017.

There have been posters put up across the ward advertising a ‘campaign for two-form entry this year not 2017’ meeting on Sunday where Councillors will be present.  It is important to be clear that the meeting was not organised with us, so we will not be there.

We would like to stress that ABS has David and Joanne’s support for an expansion, and that the door is open for an earlier expansion if it can be demonstrated that other local primary schools will not be negatively affected.  Given that as Prince’s Councillors we represent all children in the ward, it is very important that all schools work together to improve education standards across the area. With this in mind, our current focus is to arrange a meeting between all Heads of local primary schools to discuss this further.  We are in the process of setting this up.  Once we have an update of further developments we shall of course report to residents in the newsletter. In the meantime, if any residents have any further questions, then please do get in touch.

Finally, some parents have contacted us with concerns that their children did not get a place at ABS (their first choice), despite living close by, and fear that this may be because Church-going parents living elsewhere may have been prioritised as part of the school’s admissions policy.  We reported last week that ABS is currently reviewing its admissions policy.  You may wish to make your views known at:  http://www.archbishop-sumners-primary.lambeth.sch.uk/home.

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