Camden Statement on Wren Street Proposals

Institute of Education proposal for a new secondary school in Camden

Some of you will already know from discussions at the headteachers’ conference and with secondary chairs and headteachers, that the Department for Education has indicated that it is prepared to make an offer to buy part of the Wren St site in the south of the borough for use as a University Training School (UTS), subject to ministerial approval. The Council has indicated that it would be willing to accept the DfE’s offer subject to a report to the Cabinet in July. There is still further work to be done to get all the necessary approvals.

The school is being proposed by the Institute of Education. The IOE is already working closely with a number of schools in the borough so there is much to build on for future close working across all Camden schools and the UTS. The UTS is an innovative new type of school which, as well as providing four forms of entry, 11-19, would provide leading edge research which would benefit teaching and learning in all Camden’s schools. The school would meet the long-standing demand from the Holborn and St Pancras secondary school campaign for a school for the wards south of the Euston Road. Subject to the necessary approvals from the government, the IOE and the Council, the school is anticipated to open in September 2016. As well as a school development, part of the site will be sold for housing. The capital programme for reinvestment in schools and housing includes a provisional sum from a sale of the Wren Street site. It is anticipated that the proposals for a new school and housing will, subject to planning, deliver receipts at the required level. This is contrary to the reference in today’s CNJ that the site is being sold at a reduced rate to the DfE.

The IOE has confirmed that it wants to work closely with the Camden family of schools through sharing of best practice from the research at the UTS and in schools generally and also by exploring the possibility of shared sixth form provision with other schools and colleges, in the south of the borough.

In our discussions so far, some secondary schools have expressed concern about the impact of the new school on pupil numbers in our existing schools. We have already shared some headline information with secondary colleagues at a meeting earlier this week and will be sending out a pack of information as soon as possible setting out pupil number projections and admissions information. We will also be organising individual meetings with secondary schools this term and next and a meeting of all secondary school chairs and heads next term to discuss school places.

Richard Lewin, CSF assistant director (strategy and resources)

Camden Council

27th June 2013

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