Building Expansion Consultation

Thank you to those of you who attended the consultation meeting last night about the proposal to permanently expand Heavers Farm.

Here is the consultation information and feedback form: Heavers Farm Primary School consultation document

We have paper copies available at the school office.

Proposed expansion of Heavers Farm Primary School

Frequently Asked Questions – Question and Answer sheet

Introduction

This question and answer sheet is intended to help answer some of legitimate concerns raised by stakeholders, including parents/carers and local residents, based on our experience of other school expansion proposals.

This not an exhaustive list and we are happy to answer other questions or concerns raised during the consultation period – 13 May to 10 June 2015, including at the public meeting at the school on 4 June at 7pm.

It is important to note that we are consulting you on the principle of the proposal and no decision has been made regarding the implementation of the proposed expansion of the school. The outcome of the consultation, along with feasibility study will help to inform decision by the School Leadership Team and the Council about whether to implement the proposed change.  

Please read this in conjunction with the consultation document available at the school or via https://www.croydon.gov.uk/education/schools-new/primary-schools/heavers-farm-primary

Questions and Answers

Q1.      Why is there a need for more pupil places?

A1.      The Council has a statutory duty to ensure that there are sufficient pupil places to meet the current and future demand for pupil places.

Croydon has been facing an unusual growth in demand for places. This is driven by: an increase in the number of births; an increase in the proportion of those born in the borough who need school places five years later; and a continuing flow of population from Inner London to the Outer London boroughs and a decrease – due to the housing market – in those moving the other way. Latest forecasts of future need show a continuing growth in demand for pupil places.

 Q2.      Why are you proposing to expand Heavers Farm Primary School?

A2.      When we are thinking about how to provide additional school places we take account of: the popularity and success of the school; leadership capacity to ensure that high quality places will be made available; the suitability of the site; the location – close to areas of high demand; and value for money.

 Heavers Farm Primary is a popular school – for the 2014/15 academic year, the school received 294 applications for the 120 reception places available. The school has been rated by Ofsted as a ‘good’ school, providing a good education for its pupils. Initial feasibility shows that the school site has the capacity to be expanded to accommodate the additional 30 pupils. Funding has been identified by the Council.

Q3.      What is proposed?

A3.      The proposal is to permanently expand the school size to accommodate 4 forms of entry from September 2016. This means that construction will take place to enlarge the school site to create extra classes and facilities to accommodate / offer an additional 30 reception pupil places from September 2016. A total of 120 places will be offered to children applying for reception places from September 2016 using the school’s normal admissions arrangements

 The school would continue to receive an additional class in reception each year, so that by 2022 the school would have an extra 210 pupils in total, with 120 pupils in every year group – from Reception to Year 6.

Q4.      What is the planning status of the proposed expansion?

A4.      Applying for planning permission is separate statutory process. Any proposal requiring planning permission will be subject to its own publicity arrangements and consultation. The decision on the planning application will have regard to all relevant planning considerations including planning policy, site circumstances and any representations received from interested parties.

Q5.      What are some of the benefits of the proposed expansion?

A5.      Expanding the school could bring a number of benefits, not only to current children but to families and the local community. For example, improved building and teaching conditions, as well as fixing any problems that the school building may currently have such as insufficient dining space. An increased number of pupils going to the school would attract extra funding which the management team could use to ensure that the quality of teaching is maintained and adequate facilities are available.

Q6.      What do we recognise as legitimate concerns of local residents and how can we mitigate them?

A6.      Traffic related. We understand/recognise that local residents are concerned about the impact of the proposed expansion on traffic/congestion; parking and potential disruption caused by increased numbers of pupils.

In relation to traffic and parking issues, we are looking at options to minimise any traffic/parking disruption. Part of this include, commissioning a traffic impact assessment to ascertain how the local area would cope with all modes of movements by people and vehicles, taking account of accessibility and safety issues. The School Travel Plan will continue to encourage walking to school.

Q7.      How would the school manage disruption during the expansion?

A7.      Building works / Health & Safety / Teaching and Learning. Generally, the most noisy and heavy construction works tends to take place during the school holidays. Off-site construction methods will be used which means a considerable reduction in the potential disruption for the school.   . However any expansion project will inevitable present some challenges and this is an issue that we will manage throughout the project. For example, any building work during term time will be planned very carefully to ensure that pupils’ learning and the school is unduly disrupted.

The health and safety of the whole school community is our top is paramount.