Thursday, 19 August 2010

Good news in the pipeline for Crampton Primary School

Crampton Primary School in Iliffe Street, SE17 (behind Kennington tube) have submitted a planning application for an extension to build:

* A new entrance and reception for the school
* A new classroom
* Additional accommodation for multi-use teaching room and space for breakfast club
* Additional accommodation for an enlarged library
* A pedestrian entrance on Iliffe Street and new staffroom

I've still not yet typed up the notes (the meeting was very long) from the angry Kennington parents meeting a few weeks ago, but Crampton Primary was named as a popular school that has not previously been an option for Kennington parents who live in Lambeth, on account of the borough boundaries.  Crampton Primary falls under Southwark Council's control, meaning applications from Lambeth parents would usually be unsuccessful.  This (I imagine) poses a particular problem for parents that live on or near the Kennington Park Road boundary. 

I'd certainly welcome a little fuzzy-boundary thinking from both councils and LEAs so that one is not deprived of services or education on account of arbitrarily living on one side of the road or other.  Lambeth Council of course intend to collapse these lines somewhat (at least between Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham), but that's in order to make job and service cuts, rather than specifically in order to benefit residents.  The Kennington Park Road borough boundary and the postcode boundary follow the same line, which I think probably form a social boundary. Buying a house in SE17 is considerably cheaper than buying one in SE11 (not sure about the differences in costs of social housing), so these geographic lines (be they borough, postcode or parish) are invisible boundaries that are used (whether by design or accident) to separate Londoners from one another. 

When the school entrance system is changed in time for entrants in 2011, I understand that parents will be able to apply for any London primary school, continuing to make Crampton Primary an option for local Lambeth parents.  It looks as though Crampton Prumary school are taking advantage of their popularity and have obtained the means to expand.  [But, actually, if you take a look at the comment from the Head of Governors below, you'll notice that they're not expanding so much as building extra classroom space to accommodate a population bulge.]  Hopefully their planning application will be successful.  (Of course, this opening of the boundaries might just have the effect of making North Lambeth primary schools further over-subscribed due to an influx of applications from Southwark parents, but we won't know until it happens).


Anonymous said...

I love SE11 residents; they believe that rules don't apply to them. And that living in Lambeth somehow entitles them to use schools that Southwark LEA pays for.

SE11 Lurker said...

To be fair, that is the view of only a number of parents. Most of the others present at the Kennington schools meeting were complaining about other things.

In any case, the whole system is going to be thrown open (I'm not sure if it's a good thing) across London when any parent can apply for any primary school. I foresee carnage.

Robert Hadfield, chair of governors, Crampton School said...

Please can I add a couple of points to clarify what is happening at Crampton Primary?

Firstly we are not expanding. The governors are committed to remaining a single form entry school. However we agree to accept some additional pupils to help cope with a population bulge in the current year one so some building work is planned to accommodate them.

Secondly we are determined to continue serving the local community. We have always had some pupils from Lambeth but we are heavily oversubscribed and proximity to the school is one of the criteria used to determine which children are accepted each year.

Robert Hadfield
Chair of Governors, Crampton School

SE11 Lurker said...

Robert, thank you for your comment about Crampton Primary School. Schools are not an area in which I have much expertise, so I've amended the post accordingly to make it clear that you're not expanding.

If there's information about events at the school or publicity that you'd like to extend to a wider audience, do let me know and I'll publicise it for you.

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