Turing House school site?

(139 Posts)
Shooting4themoon Sun 16-Feb-14 18:37:43

Does anyone have any further information on the sale of Imperial College London playing fields to this free school?
Our school use these grounds for all our pitch sports and haven't heard any rumours, has anyone else?

JaneKnight33 Thu 20-Mar-14 19:44:41

There is still a permanent site that is a viable option: the Fulwell/Amida site. The council own it so they should be able to smooth the way in terms of selling and planning.
Think local councillors need to be made aware that there is something that they can do to help their constituents just before an election.

wannaBanana Thu 20-Mar-14 20:34:38

Shooting, wasn't it Cllr Samuels who was trying to get the Waldegrave catchment extended into Hampton a few years back? I'd have thought he'd be right on the case with something like this. Anyone know which ward it's in?

Shootingatpigeons Thu 20-Mar-14 21:12:45

But then it was Councillor Samuels who rode to the rescue of dogwalkers and persuaded Amida to reopen the gates to the golf course at night. www.richmondandtwickenhamtimes.co.uk/news/9595197.Golf_club_draws_criticism_after_it_shuts_gates_after_vandalism/r/?ref=rss I think he invoked some undertaking that public access would be preserved? So may feel he should stand by his word. A mistake given the balance between the need for school places and the reality that most dog walkers would be perfectly happy as long as they still had access to the golf course.

Strix Fri 21-Mar-14 12:18:20

If there are any David Lloyd members who wish to support this petition, I think a couple of us will be at David Lloyd Hampton on Saturday afternoon. Feel free to come along and help us get some signatures.

wannaBanana Sat 22-Mar-14 07:06:32

Managed to find the planning docs for when Amida built their outdoor swimming pool on the MOL. There were some objections, but they managed to get it through: www2.richmond.gov.uk/plandata2/ShowCaseFile.aspx?appNumber=11/1677/FUL.

Seems to me that if private sports centres can build on MOL, schools should have a good case too, especially schools that have good community outreach.

I know people who send their kids to RET's school in Bristol, and they were using a nearby David Lloyd centre for sports before they got their own facilities. I think they might still use the swimming pool too.

Strix Sat 22-Mar-14 09:39:23

Is all of Amida (now David Lloyd) built on MOL? The new outdoor swimming pool at Amida is adjacent to the building and a tennis court was removed to put the swimming pool in. So that land was already in use by David Lloyd.

Could some help me understand what part of this land is being proposed for Turing? Is it the bit by Fulwell, of across from the Hampton Sainsbury's. If the latter, I would think it will attract a lot of hanwell/feltham students in later years (not 2014).

wannaBanana Sat 22-Mar-14 09:57:31

I think it's the triangle directly behind Amida. It would be opposite Sainsbury's, but behind the trees. It's the only bit that's not part of the golf course.

I expect the catchment would be where the school entrance is, because that's usually where distance is measured from. See my [Thu 20-Mar-14 18:04:39] post above about the admissions policy though. The admissions point is going to stay as part of the policy, but we don't know what the weighting will be between that and the site itself. I suppose it depends on where the site is, and whether more places are needed there than at the admissions point. Sounds like its something that would be consulted on.

Strix Sat 22-Mar-14 11:46:03

Yes, while the school is in temporary accommodation I suspect it will be that entrance, and then use the permanent one when it moves there. But I think that will be at least a couple of years away. So for 2014 entrants.

Where is the temporary accommodation? Is that known?

wannaBanana Sat 22-Mar-14 12:15:43

But Strix, according to the website, even when the school is at the permanent site, one of its admissions points will be where it is now, in Fulwell. The only unknown is whether the second point at the school gate will count for 10%, 20%, 50%, 75% or something else. It think that's what they're planning to consult on.

mombasagirl Tue 25-Mar-14 22:05:35

I am astounded by the snobbery and bigotry towards TA that I've read on this thread, perhaps by some people who've never set foot inside the school. If you choose to live in an area, why aren't you happy for your children to go to the LOCAL school and mix with others from your LOCAL area. It is called 'Real Life'. Go Twickenham Academy! We're with you!

BayJay Wed 26-Mar-14 06:12:06

I agree we all need to support all of our local schools. All of the places are needed, so they all need to be good places, or supported to become good places. Schools live or die by their word-of-mouth reputation, so any criticism needs to be constructive, not destructive.

Mombasa, there have been some positive threads about TA recently, e.g. this one, and this one. If you're a TA parent yourself then its worth taking the time to say what is great about the school. Parents are always looking for peer-reviews to help with difficult decision making.

RPA has seen a huge surge in its applications this year and that's no surprise to those of us who have been seeing it getting positive word-of-mouth here on Mumsnet for a while. For example, see here and here.

ikkenu Wed 26-Mar-14 07:39:57

As long as Turing House doesn't open a Y8 in 2015 - that could be chaotic for other schools (and for Turing House if they don't all transfer at the same time).

BayJay Wed 26-Mar-14 08:31:41

Ikkenu, I think everyone is very aware of the awkwardness of that suggestion. Looks like Harperbury are facing similar calls.. Its new territory for the DfE.

Strix Wed 26-Mar-14 10:53:18

okay, let's just review the facts on Twickenham Academy.

League tables here: www.bbc.co.uk/news/special/education/school_tables/secondary/11/html/eng_maths_318.stm?compare=

Recent Ofsted report here: www.ofsted.gov.uk/inspection-reports/find-inspection-report/provider/ELS/136104

This is a school which was rated by Ofsted in 2013 as "Requires Improvement", and in 2014 was found by Ofsted not to be doing much about it.

The Whitton children deserve the same access to "Outstanding" education offered to girls in the Twickenham Green (Waldegrave) and boys and girls in the Marble Hill / Heathfield areas (Orleans Park).

This is about academic rigour; and has nothing to do with snobbery or bigotry.

tess73 Wed 26-Mar-14 11:06:59

Why would they start with a yr8?

BayJay Wed 26-Mar-14 11:09:34

Strix, I think we all know that schools are about more than league tables and Ofsted reports. Those of us who went along to recent open evenings, and who have many friends whose children are at those schools, know that there is a much broader picture to be considered. Many children are happy and thriving there. My own DS was certainly impressed by his visit.

The school may not be right for you, and that's fine, but in the interests of good community relations I suggest you use a bit more diplomacy on a public forum.

Strix Wed 26-Mar-14 11:50:18

I understand there will be people out there who don't like my view of Twickenham Academy. And I was going to leave it alone. But, since reading the accusations of bigotry and snobbery, I though it appropriate to put forward the credible reasons upon which I (and many other like me) have formed that view.

There is also more to the performance of the school than a full on bells and whistles open evening.

Together the league tables and Ofsted reports say quite a lot about a school .

BayJay Wed 26-Mar-14 12:15:56

Yes, I know, you were responding to an accusation, so defended your position. But people are understandably sensitive, and you need to be careful not to knock down other people's sandcastles just because you think yours is bigger.

ikkenu Wed 26-Mar-14 12:58:22

Be careful with Ofsted reports - Teddington has been consistently 'Good' and the most popular school in the borough for years. Grey Court was 'Satisfactory' (i.e. requires improvement' until last year but upgraded to 'Outstanding after a single Ofsted report. Twickenham Academy has a new head starting in September which could give it a shot of energy.

Shootingatpigeons Wed 26-Mar-14 13:17:22

Perhaps mombassagirl is unaware of the background. For many parents this is all about wanting a place for their child in a "traditional" inclusive coed comprehensive local community school. Plenty of parents in the borough send their children happily to such local schools and all bar one are oversubscribed. That one, Richmond Park Academy, as bayjay highlights, has recovered from a disgraceful period of underinvestment and poor leadership which saw it lose local and OFSTED confidence, and saw a 46% increase in applications this year, with an even greater increase in applications from the local community.

However in the face of a huge increase in the pupil cohort, it will have increased by 35% between 2013 and 2017, the Council decided to embrace an educational strategy they titled "choice and diversity". The two other academies including Twickenham Academy were handed to a Swedish education provider who makes use of an educational approach based on targeted individualised learning via their own computer based systems that was previously untried in the UK. And the site of a former community school was given to the Catholic Church to set up an controversially voluntary aided school so that it could select exclusively on faith criteria. As bayjay says many parents are happy at the two academies and everyone wants them to succeed but many parents do not think that somewhat idiosyncratic educational approach and the ethos and aims of the school are right for their child. And OFSTED clearly have reservations too, and feel that there is further fine tuning of the approach needed to make it effective for the cohorts of the schools. Parental demand for those schools is stagnant, down 5% at Hampton and up 5% at Twickenham. Choice is only choice if there are enough places for there to be a real choice.

Turing was established by parents to establish the sort of inclusive local school that there is huge demand for, and that, already this year with over 200 more applications than places, is needed too.

Strix Wed 26-Mar-14 13:29:56

I think that on a thread about the need for new school in the area, it is valid to point out that the reason parents want that school is because they don't like their other choice(s).

If all of the schools in the Richmond Borough were lovely, there would not be so much support for Turing.

I have bent over backwards to support Turing, even though we weren't offered a place because I think the tragedy here belongs to the children who will not be able to go there. I have no self interest. My DD was not offered a place. And I think your sandcastle comment is a tad unwarranted.

I feel the children who have had their preferred school place at Turing ripped away in the 11th hour have been wronged; and I wish I could do something more (and not less) to support them. I am lucky to have gotten a school place I am happy with for my DD. But, I don't want to say "I'm alright, Jack" and walk away.

When did education start being about political diplomacy and stop being about the children's education?

What a crying shame.

BayJay Wed 26-Mar-14 13:44:06

Strix, sorry, the sandcastle comment was meant as lighthearted. I just forgot the smiley. I'm just trying trying to keep the peace.

At the end of the day, all of the local schools, and TH too, are or will be part of the same family of schools and we'll all know people who will send their children to all of the schools, and people who work there, and people who are governors there. Their experience is important too.

All our schools work together to support each other, through initiatives such as Education Richmond. TH will be part of that too. It isn't separate. All the places are needed because of the bulge of children coming through the system.

ikkenu Wed 26-Mar-14 16:42:37

If mombassagirl is defending her local school against new threats, whoever runs it, that's fine. The quality argument from Strix is separate from the capacity argument from shootingatpigeons but the council has a legal duty to make sure it has places to offer. Even the capacity argument gets spun sometimes when you are counting increases in a different part of the borough, e.g. North Sheen or Barnes, or the Catholic school bulge classes, to justify a co-ed school near Whitton which may soon be followed up by another co-ed school near St Margaret's.

There's a lot of politics and spin from all sides - the politicians, RISC, the Catholic diocese, the academies and free school groups - we all know that.

Strix Thu 27-Mar-14 07:54:33

What is the co-ed school near St. Margarets?

ikkenu Thu 27-Mar-14 08:08:37

The Richmond College one. Maybe that's too. If you live in Barnes there seem to be new schools springing up every year, but not one of them handy for Barnes!

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