Good news for fans of Turing House School, the long awaited local free school. After much searching and a few setbacks along the way it has now found a site from which to launch in September 2015. It has secured Livingston House in Queen’s Road, Teddington. No, we don’t know it either but it’s actually next to Teddington Memorial Hospital. Refurbishment work will now take place make it ready to open its doors to Year 7 pupils later this year. The site is expected to be used for the first three years of the school’s life while the search for a suitable permanent home gets resolved.
Turing House has also consulted on its admissions policy and its ‘admissions point’ – the geographical point used to determine distance from the school. That location looks set to move for 2016 admissions from its current point near Waldegrave School in Twickenham to a new location in the Teddington / Fulwell area. There is also a proposal that 80% of places would be determined on the basis of the admissions policy and the admissions point, but that 20% of places will be allocated according to proximity to the eventual permanent site itself.
And speaking of permanent sites, Turing House says it’s looking at two options on the Middlesex side of the Borough. But guess what? Not everyone is happy with the ideas being put forward. The expansive Imperial College playing fields in Udney Park Road, Teddington is one option but it has met with local opposition. However a second option, just off Hospital Bridge Road in Whitton, has caused significant consternation Whitt-side. Locals there are concerned that Turing House, with a ‘centre of gravity’ for admissions close to Teddington, could end up as a Whitton-based school but one which Whitton children have very little chance of actually attending. Furthermore, there’s additional agitation associated with this proposal because the site is classed as Metropolitan Open Land and so has a certain degree of green space protection. It is currently owned by Hounslow Council. Opponents of the Whitton idea have set up a Facebook page and a petition.