Friday 30 November 2018

New secondary school for Willesden

Chancel House
Gail Tolley, Director of Children and Young People's Service in Brent, confirmed yesterday that a new 6 forms of entry secondary school will be built on the site of Chancel House, Neasden Lane. It will be a free school with Wembley High Technology College, an academy, as its sponsor.

Originally it was intended to refurbish the redundant DWP building, Chancel House (above) to accommodate the school but the Education Funding Agency (EFA) decided demolition and new build was preferable.

A new secondary school south of the North Circular Road has long been a demand from  residents in Willesden, Harlesden and Church End following the closure of Sladebrook High School. Neasden High School,also closed, was just on the other side of the North Circular, on that section of Neasden Lane.  Parents made the case for a school which will be at the heart of the local community. Brent Council decided not to go ahead with a possible secondary school on the Bridge Park-Unisys site as part of the regeneration. The school has the project name of North Brent School LINK but this will obviously be revised.

Interestingly Gail Tolley said that the site had been considered by the EFA for the ill-fated (and expensive to the public) Gladstone Free School. LINK

Neasden Lane suffers from poor air quality some quite heavy truck truck movements. LINK

As the primary 'bulge' moves through into secondary schools more places will be needed and the local authority is working with  academies regarding expansion. As academies they are independent of the local authority and cannot be forced to expand.

There is of course some uncertainty over the future of Brent's European families regarding Brexit and this will need to be taken into account in school places planning.

The EFA has also approved a Free Special School to be set up by the Brent Special Academy Trust on a site in the Avenue and has again opted for demolition of the existing building and building of a new school.  At present many children are transported outside the borough due to the lack of special provision in Brent.

Responding to the plateau in reception primary school applications and vacancies in some school the Ark Somerville Primary, which will be built on the car park of York House, has been reduced to 2 forms of entry. LINK

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