Merton’s cabinet give the go-ahead for purchase of school site

Merton’s cabinet this week (5 July) authorised council officers to go ahead and buy a site in South Wimbledon suitable for a new secondary school.

Merton’s successful £80 million school expansion programme has seen the creation to date of over 4,000 new primary school places. Now the council has a duty to ensure there are enough secondary school places to accommodate the children as they move from primary into secondary education.

The urgent need for 180 secondary school places by September 2018 will see the former Merton Adult Education site in Whatley Avenue used by the Harris Federation as a temporary school, providing  education for a maximum of 360 to include year 7 and 8 students only (aged 11-12 and 12-13) while the new school is constructed. The construction of the new school should be completed by summer 2020.

The government’s Education Funding Agency (EFA) will be responsible for funding and building the new school and completing any works needed in the temporary school with the council contributing to the overall costs through the purchase of the land on which the school will be built.

Merton Council cabinet member for finance Councillor Mark Allison said: “Merton has some of the fastest improving GCSE results in the country. All our secondary schools are rated outstanding or good. Our schools are becoming ever more popular, so we are expanding our best schools in Mitcham and providing places in the South Wimbledon and Colliers Wood area of the borough where there is the greatest need with a proven excellent provider.”