Our proposal is for St Philip’s to grow downwards to educate children in Years 5 and 6 as well as from Years 7 through to 14. The proposed expansion in age-range and overall numbers would provide 16 Year 5 and Year 6 places in 2018, with another eight across those year-groups in 2019 and a further eight in 2020.
As the school is an academy, the expansion proposals would need to be approved by the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA), and we are therefore seeking the views of parents and other interested parties through this consultation in order to inform the ESFA’s decision-making process.
We anticipate making a case to the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames (Kingston Council) for the funding needed to pay for the accommodation – three new classrooms – for these new year-groups. Your views on these proposals will help the Council to decide whether or not to commit the large amount of funding that would be required.
We would therefore be very grateful for your response to the questions overleaf, and any other thoughts you might have on this proposal.
A consultation on the proposal will run from 1 November 2017 to 29 November 2017. A public meeting will be held at 5pm on Tuesday 21 November at St Philip’s School.
Why is it being proposed?
This expansion would give us the opportunity to offer places for young people with moderate learning difficulties in the local area at an earlier age, so that children can benefit from our teaching and learning within the primary phase as well as secondary, and from the inclusion opportunities provided by our location next to Ellingham Primary School and Chessington Community College. It would also mean that some children would no longer need to go through the transition from one school to another at the end of Year 6.
Achieving for Children (AfC), the community interest company that provides Children’s Services for Kingston Council, has identified a need for more special school places to be provided locally as quickly as possible. This is due to the growth of the general school-aged population in the borough, and because the number of pupils requiring specialist education is rising at an even faster rate. AfC and Kingston Council work very closely with us to ensure that our offer meets the local requirements and complements other local provision. These proposals would enable us to continue to have the best possible local offer within the constraints of our site and the funding available.
These proposals would also enable more children to be educated within their home communities and therefore to have shorter home-to-school journey times.
Finally, staff at the school are very excited by the positive difference these proposals would make, not least because of the career development opportunities which they would provide.
Headteacher, St Philip’s School