Most people in Wapping have not heard anything about the school that is to be built on the London Dock site recently, so Moley, prompted by a concerned parent, has been doing some digging.
Clear and concise information was surprisingly tricky to unearth but fortunately our local Councillor Julia “Jingle Bells” Dockerill has been on the case for some while.
Here is what Cllr. Dockerill found out:
“The secondary school site can technically be released from March 2017 and this is within the agreed planning permission. Once notice is given that the site is required, the developer is given six months to vacate the site and any school would then take 24 months to build.
In the latest free school approval round with the Dept of Education [relating to Tower Hamlets], there have been three successful bids for new free schools in the borough – Bethnal Green Academy are expanding, Canary Wharf College 3 and the Ian Livingstone Foundation.”
Cllr. Dockerill says that all three providers are very popular with parents and she has visited Bethnal Green Academy, who want to set up a bilingual Spanish and English school, and was very impressed.
Thanks to Julia for this – and if you have not read her blog you should as it is a mine of information about Wapping. And it saves us writing stuff.
(LW Comment: A bilingual Spanish and English school sounds a great idea although English and Chinese might be even better. What do you think?)
Council statement on London Dock school
Moley also got in touch with Tower Hamlets Council and this is the official blurb we received in reply:
“There are expected to be 9,000 more primary and secondary school-age children in the borough by 2025.
The council has plans in place to deal with the rising need for school places so that no children are left behind without a place.
A report approved by Cabinet last September included details of future plans for additional places, including longer term proposals for a new secondary school at London Dock. The council is now working on the appointment of a design team to develop the school proposal. We expect the team to be appointed this summer. The team will develop the design and work out the technical and cost information to inform the council’s plans for opening the new school.
The plans for the new London Dock school will be subject to consultation with local residents, parents and the wider community before leading to a formal decision on the opening of the school.”
So look out for that consultation folks! We know you love them!
St George / Berkeley Group statement
Moley also asked the people who are doing all the London Dock thing with the bricks and cranes and everything about the school and they responded very quickly:
“The London Dock planning permission includes a new secondary school. The borough’s option on the land for the school will open in April 2017 after which the borough has ten years to bring forward the school. It is expected that the council will consult St George and the local community as it brings forward these plans.”
Remember that it is not St George / Berkeley Group who will build the school – they just have to leave space for it in their development, nothing more.
Livingstone Academy, Commercial Street
Just to confuse everyone the Ian Livingstone Foundation is building a new school on Commercial Street near Aldgate East tube station. This is obviously not the London Dock school.
The Commercial Street school will provide 1,570 places for 4- to 19-year-olds. The school has a curriculum that will specialise in a combination of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) subjects, with computer science at its core. Older pupils can undertake work placements and work-based projects through the trust’s partnerships with a range of local employers.
For more information
- Planning for School Places – 2015/16 Review (Tower Hamlets Council – PDF)
- Bethnal Green Academy
- Canary Wharf College 3
- Ian Livingstone Foundation
- Games Workshop founder and entrepreneur to open 2 free schools
- Aspirations Academy Trust
- Livingstone Aspirations
- Wapping Conservatives blog