Plans to open a new primary school in the former Galleywall School building in South Bermondsey have been confirmed by the prime minister.

From the official Government announcement:

The City of London Corporation will open a primary school for 420 children in South Bermondsey in 2016. Overseen by Mickey Kelly, the inspirational headteacher of Redriff Primary Academy, the free school will target ‘the poverty of aspiration’ that holds back many local children from achieving their potential. This is 1 of 2 new primary schools being opened by the corporation in 2016, adding to the corporation’s reputation for providing high quality education both in the city and the surrounding areas.

Redriff press releaseHistorian and shadow education secretary Tristram Hunt visited Redriff Primary School last week with local Labour parliamentary candidate Neil Coyle.

Mr Hunt attended the school assembly and answered questions from year 6 pupils on Labour’s education policy.

“I was pleased to meet Redriff’s inspirational head Mickey Kelly and hear about the innovative partnership between the school and Southwark’s Labour council that will see an expansion of this popular school and a new school in nearby Bermondsey,” said Tristram Hunt MP.

“The year 6 pupils gave me a good grilling on what Labour plans to do if we win the election in May – I look forward to coming back and seeing the progress they have made.”


Neil Coyle added: “Southwark Labour will continue to find ways to increase school places in the borough, against the backdrop of a school places crisis caused by the Conservative and Lib Dem government.”

Earlier this month Ofsted published another report on Strawberry Babybubs Nursery in St James’s Churchyard, Bermondsey.

Once again the nursery has been given the lowest possible rating – ‘inadequate’. Inspectors found that:

  • The key-person system is not effective in helping children to feel settled and secure.
  •  Staff who have not been cleared by the vetting system are given responsibilities to change nappies unsupervised. This means children’s welfare cannot be assured.
  • Not all staff have a sound understanding of their responsibilities to safeguard children. In addition, documentation lacks information about staff attendance and deployment, and policies lack required details that staff must observe to keep children safe.
  • The management’s system to monitor the quality of teaching and track the progress of all children is weak, particularly with regard to completing progress checks for two- year-olds.
  •  Although outside play is part of the written daily routine, staff do not ensure babies have regular opportunities to spend time outdoors. There are few opportunities for babies and toddlers to engage in sensory and messy play activities to support their emotional and physical development.

Local theatre company London Bubble run weekly drama classes for all ages and abilities.

Its theatre groups are friendly, fun and creative, and include games and exercises which will help to develop confidence and a range of performance skills.

The new term starts week commencing 12 January

Classes for 6-8yrs / 9-11yrs / Youth Theatre for ages 12+

All classes held at 5 Elephant Lane, Rotherhithe, SE16 4JD

To find out more or book for a taster class contact Lucy
[email protected] 020 7237 4434


Southwark’s cabinet has endorsed plans for a £12 million redevelopment of Albion Primary School as part of a wider programme of developments in and around Albion Street.

“The regeneration of Albion Street is a priority for this council and we recognise the concern of local residents about the future of this street as a commercial and retail centre,” said Cllr Mark Williams, cabinet member for regeneration, planning and transport.

“It is key that neighbouring regeneration schemes, in particular at Canada Water and Surrey Quays, complement and enhance our plans for Albion Street.

“We will re-invigorate Albion Street by looking at several connected areas, including Albion Primary School; the former Library and improving the public realm.”

He added: We will continue to work with members of the local community, local residents and businesses as we now move forward to drawing up detailed plans and designs for each of these schemes. This is an exciting time for this part of Rotherhithe and the schemes set out in this report will better connect Albion Street with both the River Thames and Canada Water.”

Listen to the audio of the cabinet discussion on Albion Street:

St Michael’s RC College has published details of its plans to expand its buildings and pupil numbers to meet rising demand:

St Michael’s … was built for 600 students, when it already had 690 students on roll at the time of design. Whilst the school building itself is beautiful and provides an inspiring learning environment, lack of teaching space is proving problematic, and in 2015 there will not be enough classrooms to teach the students. The school currently has 797 pupils on roll.

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Rotherhithe Shed is a new project for older men based on the very successful Australian Men’s Shed movement.

Set up in partnership by London Bubble Theatre Company and Time & Talents, it aims to bring together older men to put their practical skills to good use – fixing, making, whittling, drilling, sawing and generally tinkering.

Sessions are held fortnightly on Thursday afternoons, in a well equipped workshop where participants can work together on a range of practical activities. Skilled artists and technical experts are available to support the participants, and project ideas are strongly encouraged and developed. If you have something that needs mending or maintaining, be it a wobbly chair or a squeaky bike bring it along. Or if you want to help make and paint the new sign for the shed, or just make the tea – you are welcome.

Rotherhithe Shed is a good opportunity for anyone looking for social and creative experiences, including a chance to make new friends, to experience the camaraderie of working with other men or simply putting practical skills to good use. It’s free, it’s participative, and it’s open to all. Whether you are someone with no skills or highly skilled, there is a role for you at Rotherhithe Shed.

For more information visit or call 020 72374434 and speak to Breakey or 02072325663 and speak to Devon.

The former Galleywall Primary School buildings in Galleywall Road could host a new primary ‘free school’ linked to the City of London Academy under plans revealed this week.

Galleywall Primary School closed in 2005 after several years in ‘special measures’. The buildings are currently being used by Southwark Park Primary School during the rebuilding of their own premises.

If approved, The City of London Primary Academy Southwark would open in September 2016 with an initial intake of 60 Reception students. It would reach its full complement of 420 students by 2023.

The Galleywall Road site is just a short walk from the existing City of London Academy secondary school on Lynton Road.

“This is a perfect site and opportunity to create a much-need new school for the Bermondsey area,” said Angela Murphy, City of London Corporation education strategy advisor.

“In partnership with our existing local schools and with Southwark Council, who own the site, we want to create an excellent school with aspirational, enterprising and adventurous values at its heart.

“It will be a community-focused school but will also provide an enriched education that exposes children to opportunities to explore the world around them.”

The ‘free school’ bid is also backed by South Bermondsey councillors and Redriff Primary, which is already part of the City of London Corporation family of schools.

Lucas Green, chair of governors of Redriff and Grange ward Labour councillor, said: “This is a unique and exciting partnership between the City of London Corporation, Southwark and existing local schools.

“If successful, the proposal will ensure that the former Galleywall site will be used for exactly what we know local people want – the provision of much-needed extra local primary school places.”

Cllr Victoria Mills, cabinet member for children and schools, said: “I am really pleased that we are able to support the proposals for another new primary school, this time in the north of the borough.

“Not only will it be hopefully a welcome new option for local parents, it will also help us to deliver our strategy to create new, permanent places and ensure our pupils continue to have the best opportunities.”

Local residents are encouraged to complete a survey at:



There is a consultation event later this month for interested parents to hear more about the proposed school and have their say on the plans. 6pm-8pm Tuesday 28th October 2014  at City of London Academy (COLA), 240 Lynton Road, London SE1 5LA


Ofsted has published a highly critical report on the Strawberry Babybubs Nursery in Bermondsey.

Inspectors visited the nursery, which is situated near St James’s Church, in July and awarded it the lowest possible rating of 4 which means ‘inadequate’.

Most significantly, the inspectors found that the nursery’s management had not obtained criminal record checks from the Disclosure and Barring Service for all members of staff.

The report said:

Management has not obtained necessary checks from the Disclosure and Barring Service for some members of staff. This is a breach of the safeguarding and welfare requirements, which places children at risk. It means the requirements of the Childcare Register are not met either. Management does not routinely obtain written references for staff as part of background checks about their suitability to work with children.

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A controversial high-rise development on Rotherhithe New Road including a new home for Southwark Free School and a sixth form centre for the City of London Academy could be completed in 2018.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson overruled Southwark Council to approve the 19-storey scheme just before Christmas.

“In the last few weeks we have exchanged contracts for the purchase of a development site on Rotherhithe New Road, Southwark, SE16 for £19 million,” said Jon Di-Stefano, chief executive of Telford Homes.

“The site has planning consent for 148 open market homes and 10 affordable homes in a building ranging from six to 19 storeys alongside the construction of a new primary school and sixth form academy within the lower levels.

“The development is expected to be completed in 2018 and has a gross development value of circa £75 million.”