More School Approvals Twick-side

Richmond College

Richmond College

It’s been a while since we talked schools on here. Too long perhaps. So let’s do it right now but let’s keep it brief… Two new primary schools have been approved for the area, both of which plan to open in September 2015. Teacher’s favourite, Michael Gove has given the nod for a Richmond Bridge Primary and a Twickenham Primary. OK, so perhaps he didn’t study the plans personally but they’ve been given the Gove-ahead (geddit?) by his Department for Education. Richmond Bridge will be operated by Bellevue Place Education Trust, Twickenham Primary by GEMS Learning Trust. When running at full capacity these two schools are expected to provide up to 840 primary school places for local children.

El Brute are delighted. There’s a great deal of pressure on school places locally, especially in East Twickenham and St Margarets – after all, who wouldn’t want to live around here – and the addition of four new forms per year group will help alleviate some of that pressure. Both projects now need to complete the tricky task of finding sites.

“Who are the people behind these schools?” you cry. GEMS Learning Trust forms part of GEMS Education which provides a range of education related services worldwide. It’s currently also opening new primary schools in Surbiton and Didcot. Bellevue runs a number of independent schools in the UK, two Swiss boarding schools (that sounds a bit posh, doesn’t it?) and, in September 2013, it opened its first school in the state sector, Rutherford House in Balham.

Meanwhile, El Brute’s grand vision for the redevelopment of Richmond College’s Egerton Road site into an education hub has taken another step forward. The proposal for a new free secondary school there of the non-denominational, non-selective, co-educational variety has also received His Goveship’s seal of approval. The plan would involve the site operating with three separate educational establishments – Richmond College (which would provide the sixth form), the new free school and the Clarendon special school which would move across from Hampton. This new ‘Richmond Education and Enterprise Campus’ is being developed as a partnership between the Council, Harlequins and Haymarket Media. The land would also provide a new base for Haymarket who are seeking to vacate their riverside offices in Teddington. The powers that be expect construction work to begin in late 2015 and the new secondary to open in September 2017. The school would provide five forms per year group.

* El Brute primary school
* GEMS Learning Trust
* Bellevue Education
* El Brute secondary school


Filed under Local Issues & News

3 responses to “More School Approvals Twick-side

  1. jeremyrodell

    Afraid Chris is wrong about East Twickenham (as opposed to the east side of central Twickenham). All the streets in the area around the end of Richmond Bridge are in a black hole when it comes to primaries.

    There is in fact a suitable site in exactly the right place: Ryde House on Richmond Road, in the middle of East Twickenham. It’s recently been purchased by Lidl, who have yet to apply for planning permission. But the Educational Funding Agency – which is responsible for finding sites for new free schools – has compulsory purchase powers. Those who would like to see a primary school there should let the Richmond Bridge Primary people know:

  2. Hester Huttenbach

    Maybe they should build a school in Marble Hill Park to go alongside of the Gloriana in Orleans garden!! It’s interesting that all those who were expecting to start their children in the secondary school this autumn are stuck as at is still trying to find a site. Absolute madness to keep giving permission for these schools without a building being built, let alone a site to put it on..

  3. Anyone interested in this topic is welcome to join the long-running [3 1/2 years 4770 posts] at: ably moderated by BayJay, the pseudonym of one of the founders of Turing House.

    Finding sites is the difficult bit so don’t be fooled by this announcement. However BayJay says they must have at least one prospective site each in view to have got so far.

    In point of fact the need for more places is more acute in Central and West Twickenham than in East, where I live and 3 local schools have expanded. It is more acute still elsewhere in London [e.g Hounslow just up the road] as the young population of recent incomers, native and immigrant, settle down to breed. London is growing at c. 100,000/month, 1 million/decade, up to 8.4 mn. already from a low of c. 7.0 mn. 30 years ago and heading for 10 mn. by 2020.

    So these two primary school are unlikely to be funded or to find sites if they are. The secondary school, however, is urgently needed and is likely to happen, even though it is a gross over-development of the site.