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Greenshaw continues to seek site for new school

Statement from the Trust – 23rd October 2015.

The Greenshaw Learning Trust has advised Sutton Council and the Department for Education (DfE) that the land the Council has bought on part of the Sutton Hospital site is not suitable for their proposed new secondary school.

Mike Cooper, chair of the Greenshaw Learning Trust, said: "We have DfE approval for our plans for a new 11 to 19 mixed comprehensive secondary school to help meet the needs of the local community. It will include a sixth form and will eventually take 1450 students. It will offer a broad curriculum through which all students will have the opportunity to fulfil their potential."

Having given it careful consideration, the Greenshaw Learning Trust has concluded that the land the Council has bought on the Sutton Hospital site will not accommodate the school we have planned and will not provide the quality of education we would want to offer to future generations of students.

The Greenshaw Learning Trust remains committed to establishing the new secondary school that Sutton needs and we will continue to work with the Department for Education and Sutton Council to find a suitable site and to get the school built as soon as possible.

Background:

Over the next few years the number of students needing places in Sutton’s secondary schools will increase significantly. Even after the planned expansion of the existing schools we are likely to need two new secondary schools by 2019-2020.

Last year the Greenshaw Learning Trust, a group of academy schools that includes Greenshaw High School, put forward plans for a new secondary school in Sutton. It would be a community secondary school open to all local students, offering a broad curriculum through which all students will have the opportunity to fulfil their potential. It will include a sixth form and will eventually take 1450 students.

In March the Department for Education (DfE) approved Greenshaw’s proposal under the Free School programme. (Under government rules local Councils are not allowed to open a school themselves – instead all new schools have to be a free school or sponsored academy.)

Sutton Council had identified two possible sites for a new secondary school: an area of land they had bought on part of the Sutton Hospital site in Belmont and the disused All Weather Pitch at Rosehill. In April the Council published feasibility reports suggesting that both sites could accommodate the new school.

However, the Council’s feasibility report states that the area of land at Sutton Hospital is ‘very restricted’. The school would have to be a four-storey building close to Chiltern Road with little external space and inadequate parking.

The Department for Education carried out their own assessments and concluded that Rosehill was their preferred site and that the land bought by Sutton Council at Sutton Hospital would be extremely small for a secondary school.

In September 2015, Sutton Council’s political administration announced that the Rosehill site would not be available and that they wanted the new school to be built on the Council land on the Sutton Hospital site.

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