14. Compass School have yet to identify a site and this non-identification of a site, both permanent and temporary, is a significant risk to the school opening as proposed in September 2013.
15. This ongoing uncertainty may result in Compass not progressing and consideration may need to be given as to how additional places could be delivered within the existing estate.
16. The DfE has approved the deferral of the opening of the UTC to September 2013. The UTC proposals are not currently progressing as a result of the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the future of Southwark College and the potential for this to result in the non-availability of the site or the necessary ancillary facilities for the UTC. Even with the quick resolution of the site issues a September 2013 opening is unlikely to be achievable.
17. Discussions and recommendations in regard to the delivery of the 100 additional places are not being progressed at this time as it is considered that these should be delivered in the context of the delivery of all the identified required places. These other proposed expansions are currently at risk due to site availability issues and should they not proceed the delivery of 100 places at a particular school may undermine site potential and funding for expansion there or elsewhere if required.
SOUTHWARK FREE SCHOOL (Primary)
18. In 2011 Southwark Free School (SFS) secured Department for Education pre- opening approval to open in September 2012. At the time of this approval the school was proposed to be established at a site in Great Dover Street.
19. In March 2012 SFS initiated a public consultation process seeking feedback from local stakeholders in regard to proposals to establish a 420 place primary school at 399 Rotherhithe New Road. The current status of this site acquisition is unknown.
20. The preferred site is not in a condition that would enable the school to be established in September 2012 and Partnerships for Schools are therefore also seeking to identify a temporary site. No temporary site has been confirmed but a September 2012 opening date is still targeted by SFS and PfS. The school was not included in the 2012/13 admissions arrangements.
Extracts from a report on school places in SE16 prepared for next week’s Education, Children’s Services and Leisure Scrutiny Sub-Committee meeting, covering the Compass Free School, University Technical College and Southwark Free School: