Community news and investigative journalism for Wapping E1W and Tower Hamlets London

London Dock school Wapping design exhibition – residents comments

By on November 10, 2017 in London Dock school

Confusion and uncertainty continues about London Dock school in Wapping with some residents being told there may never be a school, some being told there might be a school but not until the mid–2030s and others told something in between.

Oh and it seems there will no public consultation on whether we need a school or not. Which is about par for the course for the London Dock school development.

It seems the residents who pay for the school to be built and send their children to the school are not worthy of talking to.

Nice, huh?

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Many thanks to all who attended the design exhibition held yesterday at the Royal Pharmaceutical Society and to those who organised the exhibition.

This post primarily consists of comments by Wapping residents who attended yesterday – great stuff!

This comments sums it up:

“Unfortunately the encounter today gave me no confidence at all that there’ll be a new secondary school any time soon 🙁 Better start saving for private education!”

Wapping resident #1

“No London Dock school until mid 2030’s?”

Wapping resident #6

“They have designed a new school for the site but there is no definite decision to build the school.

Council feel more research is needed into the need for a school ..Will there be enough pupils round here? They assess local housing stock, current primary numbers, birth rate …all sorts of factors. They are also looking into a site on Isle of Dogs. (Goes before council on September 2018 I think)

The very earliest the school will be open is 2021. If it happens.

If it’s built there are lots of complicated steps about ‘providers’. The council will strongly recommend a mixed (girls and boys) school for 11–18. Approx 1100 pupils.

The design looked good, but hard to engage with the details when the school is so far away.”

Wapping resident #7

Ladies, you NEED to go if at all possible! I’m there at the moment and haven’t heard so much nonsense in a long time. Apparently we have enough school places and can all send our kids to Wapping High School, which is a failing school ???? Please show your support for a new school and ask difficult questions!!

The purpose of today is to consult on the design even though it hasn’t been decided yet whether to build a school or not?? There will be NO public consultation on whether we need a school or not?? Total shambles!

Wapping resident #2

“Basically they [Council] thought London Dock would be populated with families and based the case for a school on that assumption. But the numbers don’t stack up anymore.”

Wapping resident #3

“More families with children would stay if there was a good local secondary school.”

Wapping resident #7

The lady from the council made the comment about Wapping High School. She told me her name but I was too angry to listen… She was the only female official there, so should be easy to find out. Think there were one or two others from the council, the rest were the architects (and they wore name badges).

Wapping resident #2

“Seems the Council don’t care about existing families? Only ones who can afford to live in London dock?!”

Wapping resident #4

“Council seems to have been working on basis that that London Dock would bring in a certain number of more families and a school would need to accommodate these extra families and existing Wapping people too.”

Wapping resident #7

More sound bites from my conversation with the lady from the council – don’t know if any of this is true but according to her:

  • The council would spend £50m on the new school, which will then be an academy and handed over to be run by central government. Essentially they would have the expense but no control over it (hence, I guess very little incentive to do it)
  • When I asked her what we Wapping parents can do to demonstrate the need for a secondary school, she said that the problem is free-schools which the central government (not council) approves but it reduces the number of pupils needing a state school (?) So we should lobby to have less free schools (what?) Apparently two new free schools have been granted in TH. One on a site on Commercial Road and one Canary Wharf College 3 which will have a temporary site (?). She mentioned that the decision whether a school will be built or not will be announced in Sept 2018 with no public consultation beforehand. [LW emphasise]
  • She tried to give me an example of how they calculate the need for new school places (birthrates in TH, how many pupils in reception, how many people move to and from the area). Pointed out that many more people would stay if there was a decent secondary school.

Just anecdotal evidence from friends and other parents show how people (reluctantly) move because of lack of schools.

LW Comment

In addition to the comments above LW has two questionw it wants answering. We have been trying to find answers for sometime but with no success.

Q1: Which person was responsible for making the decision that a school should be built next to one of the most polluted roads in London?

We understand this decision was not made by Tower Hamlets Council but rather someone in central government. When we finally get to know the answer to our first question we will then ask:

Q2: Please can all the pollution surveys and risk assessments to children being affected by high levels of air pollution when this decision was made be published please?





 

 

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