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Merton: dumbing-down Dundonald Primary School?

(219 Posts)
page1 Fri 03-Jun-11 14:15:20

1. Merton Council's consultation process regarding the proposed expansion of Dundonald Primary School(DPS) has now commenced and information can be obtained from their website or that of DPS. The Council has distributed a leaflet to residents for feedback and is due to hold a public meeting on Wednesday 8 June.

2. Disappointingly, the Conservatives, LibDems and Independents have been very quiet on the issue. The Labour Party has given out letters supporting the proposed expansion and, to his credit, Cllr Walker has had the courage to put his personal credibility on the line given his close involvement with the campaign. However, threatening parents/carers that they will have to take their children to school in Morden if the Council doesn't get its way seems a little extreme. Frankly, parents don't care how far they travel if their children can attend an outstanding state school.

2. It seems that the governors of DPS only agreed to an expansion programme on condition that the Council provided more space. The governors knew that this was impossible for the Council to achieve because of the existence of the restrictive covenant concerning the neighbouring park (see the petition on the Council website).

3. The proposal to double the size of DPS, starting with the temporary bulge class, has caused much concern to parents of pupils at the school as witnessed by DPS being forced to issue an explanatory letter and Q&A to try and quell those fears.

4. DPS is a popular school because it had an outstanding rating from Ofsted following the last inspection and it is the ideal size. It currently has around 250 pupils which is the average number for a primary school in England. If it doubles in size, parents fear that standards may slip. Merton has 40+ primary schools of which only 6 were rated outstanding and the majority of those were 1FE schools ie similar number of pupils to DPS.

5. Parents are also worried by the disruption to their children's education that will occur once construction begins on such a small and restricted site with all the attendant health and safety issues.

6. The school currently enjoys a harmonious relationship with the neighbouring community which might not survive if the Council's plans prevail.

7. Somewhat surprisingly, the Council's consultation process takes no account of ethnic diversity.

Please feel free to forward this to and/or discuss the contents with any parents of pupils at Dundonald Primary School who may have concerns about the Council's plans and say NO to the proposal.

PAGE - Parents AGainst Expansion

usefulrabble Sat 09-May-15 20:48:51

The killjoys have won for the moment at least, some of the swings have been removed and part of the playground has been fenced off.

HaydonWomble Sun 12-Apr-15 13:04:53

They're obviously still in the 'denial' stage of their campaign defeat bereavement! Hopefully acceptance will come at some point!

CentreCourtWimbledon Sun 12-Apr-15 10:59:52

Fair enough.

I wish the anti expansion campaigners would turn their attention to the disgusting litter problem in the Rec rather than railing against the building works which are already underway, it would be a far better use of their time.

usefulrabble Sat 11-Apr-15 20:39:15

I like the way you just add more articles but won't answer a simple question. What does not liking the swings have to do with being anti expansion?

Sorry, I thought the first para of Peter Walker's letter (that I linked to) answered your question...

"The article What have you Dun? (April 2) gives credence to those who have waged a war of disinformation against the development of Dundonald Park and the expansion of the school."

Essentially they - the nimby group - are using any excuse to criticise any aspect of the school expansion project. Rumour is that their latest offensive consists of trying to have the new playground shut down on H&S grounds. The people making official complaints about the playground being (supposedly) unsafe are the same people who campaigned against school expansion - that's what I'm led to believe.

I think the playground could certainly be improved - the positioning of the swings isn't great, and the mulch genuinely could be a problem for disabled access to the roundabout - but it isn't finished yet, and mostly I don't like seeing it used as a figleaf for the campaign against school expansion, which has tried more than enough dirty tricks already (see upthread).

CentreCourtWimbledon Sat 11-Apr-15 00:50:43

I like the way you just add more articles but won't answer a simple question. What does not liking the swings have to do with being anti expansion?

usefulrabble Fri 10-Apr-15 20:57:35


CentreCourtWimbledon Fri 03-Apr-15 14:52:37

What does complaining about the dangerous swings have to do with being anti expansion? I'm pro expansion but I still think the swings aren't well positioned and I was flabberghasted at the cost of the new playground although I'm prepared to believe that it isn't true.

usefulrabble Thu 02-Apr-15 19:56:28

I mean

usefulrabble Thu 02-Apr-15 19:55:01

Latest way for the NIMBYs to knock the school expansion plan:

(The playground is only half-finished, it'll be expanded once the holy old pavilion is replaced).

CentreCourtWimbledon Sun 11-Jan-15 14:27:28

What?? That is crazy. And it's not how admissions work so it's pointless.

The new playground is coming along fast, which is good to see.

2FatLadied Fri 09-Jan-15 19:50:46

From what the people who've been doorstepped tell me, it's to 'prove' that there are enough places for local children, as long as you exclude all those undeserving four year olds who've recently moved to the area or who live in rented accommodation.

I assume that his argument was that there is no need to expand Dundonald, just crack down on these applications and the problem will go away. Presumably by those 'undeserving' four year olds commuting to Mitcham or moving or going private.

CentreCourtWimbledon Fri 09-Jan-15 18:50:32

What is his motive for doing that? Is it to get people to support the expansion?

2FatLadied Fri 09-Jan-15 11:48:21

They are moving the playground right now, though it's going to take 5-6 weeks rather than a few days, as originally promised, which is irritating.

The anti-expansion campaign seems to have morphed into a 'protect our green spaces from development' campaign. It seems like a fairly harmless outlet for the strong feelings.

The thing that isn't harmless is that I'm told one of the local politicians has been knocking on doors and showing people a list of houses which he says are 'dodgy' in terms of school applications. I'm sure he shouldn't share this information, even if he is allowed access to it in his official capacity. Not least because his definition of 'dodgy' appears to cover anyone who rents and anyone who hasn't lived there for years. In an area of a pretty mobile population, this is quite a lot of addresses!

CentreCourtWimbledon Tue 30-Dec-14 22:50:57

Isn't the campaign to get Eric Pickles involved still going?
There must be a point of no return, maybe it's even been reached already. The playground is being shut from next week while it is moved, and that's got to be pretty irrevocable

Willemdefoeismine Mon 29-Dec-14 12:26:29

It sounds as if this is now a fait accompli, so we can all breathe a sigh of relief.

LocalEditorMerton Sun 16-Nov-14 12:27:32

You may also be interested in the Sunday Times Parent Power Top 200 State Primary Schools (in Britain) list, published today. Three Merton schools feature (congratulations to them!):

Bishop Gilpin CofE Primary School (12th);
Dundonald Primary School (123rd);
Hollymount Primary School (66th).

2FatLadied Sat 15-Nov-14 20:59:08

Found them on this link:
Can't flick between pages on my phone so from memory it's West Wimbledon, Singlegate, Wimbledon Chase, Bishop Gilpin, St Mary's, Hillcross.

rartartar123 Sat 15-Nov-14 19:40:03

out of interest what were the other 6 primary schools to get outstanding from ofsted?

2FatLadied Tue 11-Nov-14 20:23:46

This article shows the local Lib Dem candidate suggesting that the expansion is all due to Labour infighting.

I think that the only local political party that has shown consistent good sense and a grasp of the realities of the situation has been Labour, in the form of Peter Walker. And I find it deeply disappointing that a) the Lib Dems are still going with the go back in time and find an alternative site / don't sell off school playing fields 'solution' and b) that their candidate is using the issue to try and grab local votes. I would have hoped they would think that local school places for 3/4 year olds were more important than getting NIMBY votes...

CentreCourtWimbledon Wed 29-Oct-14 19:08:40


The title of this thread says it all really. These campaigners don't want local kids going to their local school because of a perception that they will dilute the good results and bring the house prices down. Nothing to do with losing a non-used bowling green. The building project is well underway and I hope it continues apace

2FatLadied Wed 29-Oct-14 17:47:42

Not only Stephen Hammond MP but also the local lib Dem candidate are anti-expansion (if you ask the right questions - ime both aren't open about it if they're not sure where you stand). Doesn't leave much choice when it comes to the election...

I sincerely hope they don't stop it now - according to the council there are predicted to be 70 children for whom there isn't a 2015 autumn Reception place, and that's assuming that Dundonald takes 60.

wombleofsw19 Wed 29-Oct-14 13:40:38

And so it goes on. The 'save the rec' group met with Eric Pickles this week to overturn the HIGH COURT decision to proceed with the Dundonald Rec plans. This is also despite the fact that construction is already progressing at pace.

What is so troubling amongst many things here is that the local MP Stephen Hammond continues to support this group. It was he who arranged the meeting and it's been he who has contributed to this saga being delayed for so many years, resulting in so many kids missing out on going to their local school (as well as of course the continued uncertainty over the rec).

This group has so much time on their hands and will never give up. So don't be surprised if somehow they delay construction again, throwing into doubt 2015 school places. This will have a knock on effect to Wimbledon Chase etc.

HaydonWomble Tue 14-Oct-14 13:54:01

One way or another, this one is just set to run and run....hmm!

2FatLadied Thu 02-Oct-14 20:01:27

That article, and all the others scattered around the local press websites, show what good PR can do. The council and those who support the expansion won the legal battle but lost the PR battle. Most local people who haven't been deeply involved think that it's the mean council bulldozing the tennis courts, bowling green and probably half the rose garden and that it's an unfair victory of The System over the little man.

All of which is highly irritating. But, in the end, the school is expanding and that's the most important thing.

CentreCourtWimbledon Thu 02-Oct-14 19:45:00

That article is crackers!

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