La Fontaine

(43 Posts)
BromleyMama Thu 19-May-16 19:50:10

Does anybody know whether they have a permanent site yet? Last I saw they were waiting for official confirmation of getting the Widmore Adult Education Crntre. However, they said the decision would be made mid April and it's now late May.
I also see they have created a garden and are planning a beach which seems odd if they will be moving.

Mumofmanychores Mon 23-May-16 12:16:35

From what I know there is suppose to be a meeting next month regarding the decision of a permanent site. I'm assuming if the Widmore centre or another appropriate found is not granted then they will have the building on westmorland Road although not ideal.

Regards to the beach and garden work, thet are making the most in creating things for the children. They will not officially moving anywhere until Sept 2017 so it's all about making the most of the site they have at present and letting the children experience the different things other schools are despite the site being temporary. Hopefully end of June there should be a decision as it's getting ridiculous. The La have had 2 years to come up with something but hoping a decision would be made in the meeting or shortly after

BromleyMama Mon 23-May-16 14:12:27

I hope they make a decision soon. My child starts school next year and I'd like to consider La Fontaine but only if they move before then. I wonder why it's taking so long.

Patry Mon 23-May-16 20:02:51

I think it's taking that long because they do have a site but don't want it? I understand their reasons for not wanting it but I suppose the LA's argument is they do have a site which is right by Bromley South.
I hope they find a space as the area needs this extra school and children seem to be thriving there. But I personally don't think the Widmore centre is the appropriate place for this school I'm afraid. 3 primary schools next to each other! And there is practically no parking in those roads. The current schools there are already struggling with traffic and parking issues.
I would have thought the school would fit very well within the development of the civic centre - although, of course, that may take longer to come along.
There is also a site being considered in front of Ravensbourne isn't it? But then I think that's green land?

BromleyMama Mon 23-May-16 20:32:27

What are their reasons for not wanting the site they have - do you know?

Mumofmanychores Tue 24-May-16 18:43:23

The site by ravensbourne school got thrown out at the beginning due to traffic. That road is very congested and traffic is already quite bad especially during peak times.

La fontaine academy have a sitw which is westmorland Road (Harris shortlands temp site) however the La really want that site for a utc technical college /sixth form hence why they are trying hard to find another site.

I agree with having 3 schools on the same road practically next to each other is just ridiculous and although I don't know the road well I know it's mainly residential parking and pay and display. I can imagine how busy and congested that road would be especially with more than half the school driving. However this site is still an option.

Civic centre was also an option however nothing has been mentioned regarding this since then.

La fontaine will definitely have a site next Sept without a doubt and as it's a central Bromley school it has to be in central Bromley which has been defined as within 10 minutes from Bromley South station. Now that limits the areas that the school can be and thinking realistically, how many empty buildings do you know within that catchment that can be used for a school.

Mumofmanychores Tue 24-May-16 18:46:26

Reasons for not wanting the site they own on westmorland Road is space. The children will have no outdoor space and the playground will have to be on the roof which I don't think that's ideal. I wouldn't feel comfortable with that me personally. The outdoor bit that Harris shortlands use as their playground is tiny. Probably the size of an average garden

BromleyMama Wed 25-May-16 14:24:12

A playground on the roof sounds a bit mad.

Mumofmanychores Wed 25-May-16 17:39:36

There are a few schools in London where they have playgrounds on the roof and this would definitely be the case if La fontaine was to move. Also La fontaine is suppose to be a 3 form entry but until they get a permanent site it will stay as 2 form.

Westmorland Road site will not have the capacity to hold that many once it reaches its 3 form full intake from reception to year 6.

I would definitely recommend the school. I was in the same boat when I applied, worrying about the permanent site. Although still curious I know that a site will be found and a decision would have to be made soon to enable enough time for surveys, works etc in order to get the site ready for Sept 2017

BromleyMama Wed 25-May-16 18:44:57

Well I hope they sort it out soon. I must admit I won't even bother applying if the permanent site isn't somewhere I can get to easily.

mummie11 Sun 29-May-16 21:53:20


My daughter is in Reception at La Fontaine and we couldn't be happier with the school. Academically I consider it to be at the same level or above an outstanding independent school.
Regarding the Widmore Centre I honestly believe that it would be a good option despite the fact that there are already 2 other schools next door. At La Fontaine de school day starts at 08:25am and finishes at 3:30pm (maybe in the future the school day will finish at 4:00pm). It works well at the current site even though they have Trinity next door. They also have a breakfast club that starts at 07:30 (and a lot of parents drop the children between that time and 8:00am) and the after school club that is opened until 7pm..

NightingaleMum Mon 30-May-16 05:15:20


Both the other 2 schools next door to the Widmore Centre have breakfast clubs and after school activities. Also at the moment Bickley parents can drive through the Widmore Centre car park and drop their children off at the bottom school gate. They also park in the car park to do the afternoon pickup and I can't imagine this continuing if La Fontaine takes over the site.

Patry Wed 01-Jun-16 12:16:20

Exactly. The other two schools start the day earlier too.
I do not think the Widmore centre is appropriate for another primary school at all. There is simply no parking at all.
Have a look at St George's newsletters and you will see how they are constantly having to talk about parking issues.
I appreciate it must be an excellent school. Regardless, I think they shouldn't impact on other schools/ neighbour's and find themselves an appropriate site.
I know they are next to Princess Plain now. Not the same thing at all. Parking there is very different to around Nightingale Rd.

BromleyMama Wed 01-Jun-16 14:23:12

Maybe I'm being stupid but why is patking such an issue? I thought the catchment for these schools was so small now that most people would live close by and therefore walk?

MummyPigsFatTummy Wed 01-Jun-16 16:45:18

I think it is pretty tiny for Bickley Primary, but St George's still has a fairly wide catchment area (although that is no doubt reducing year on year). La Fontaine, as I understand it, is not constrained by school distance in the same way as he idea is that people should be able to take advantage of its bi-lingual curriculum from further afield than Bromley. So parking is likely to be a significant issue going forward.

MummyPigsFatTummy Wed 01-Jun-16 16:47:48

IIRC one of the bonus points of the original planned site near Westmoreland Road was its close proximity to a station and other forms of public transport. The same cannot be said for Nightingale Lane. The nearest station to there is Bickley I think but that is still a fair walk.

MummyPigsFatTummy Wed 01-Jun-16 16:56:15

Oh, I'm wrong. Admission (subject to the usual higher priorities - looked after children, siblings etc) is to be distance from the school just like all other schools. Seems to defeat what I understood was to be the original purpose of the school really. Still, given how desperate Bromley is for school places. it probably makes sense.

NightingaleMum Wed 01-Jun-16 18:26:30

Parking is extremely limited in Nightingale Lane. There are some houses with no off street parking and they obviously have to park on the road. There is parking at the Widmore Centre, but I'm guessing that if La Fontaine moves there the teaching and admin staff will need this parking. Nightingale Lane has residents only parking between 12.00-2.00pm and traffic wardens patrol regularly to ensure this is enforced.

MummyPigsFatTummy Thu 02-Jun-16 14:01:03

Given that the black hole for schools is in Central Bromley I think (Palace Estate etc), it would seem to make far more sense to move La Fontaine to the Civic Centre than stick it right on top of two already existing schools, and that's even without the additional parking issues.

Schools in Bromley are a disaster at the moment. Where are the secondary places we are going to need when the current boom in primary children start to need them? No one seems to be doing anything about that.

Patry Thu 02-Jun-16 19:10:33

The catchment for Bickley is about 0.3-0.4 I think. St George's is Prob around 0.75 miles now and that means people drive. Because of where it is, many people towards Bickley, the town centre or the end of Chatterton Village would just drive. The walk isn't straight whilst the catchment distance is.
La Fontaine's catchment is probably going to be that big higher than Bickley til they have siblings etc. even then, it's not meant to be a small school so a catchment of 0.5 seems fairly normal if not bigger. At 0.5 a few parents will drive. And if it's a good school it will make the catchment of Bickley bigger so another school with driving parents.
It's really just not appropriate and can put kids at risk.
I agree that since the are that lacks schools is more towards the town centre, it should be located it at the civic centre site.
And I also agree I worry about secondary spaces. We simply don't have them! But will need them very soon.

BromleyMama Fri 03-Jun-16 14:16:46

I'm on the palace estate so Bickley Prinary is my back up choice if we are within catchment. I think right now we are borderline.

AussieMumInBromley Fri 03-Jun-16 16:13:32

It would be better for Bickley Primary to takeover the space and expand their school. They already have (and need more) additional classes in some year levels and seeing as though the buildings are joined and share hallways and services, it just makes sense (to little old me).

They also then have the option of running the on site nursery as a feeder.

BromleyMama Fri 03-Jun-16 16:33:19

Bickley Primary has a nursery? I didn't know that.

AussieMumInBromley Fri 03-Jun-16 16:43:39

It was attached to the adult education centre. It was still running in January when I did a tour of the school.

Very small setting with limited hours but there was potential to make it more in line with before/after school needs but remain term time only.

Georges4me Fri 03-Jun-16 17:41:20

Nursery is closing at end of this academic year and staff are being made redundant so I'm not sure that's an option. Surprised people think it's such a walk to Bickley station from nightingale road, it's really not that far.

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