Like most London boroughs, Hackney faces an unprecedented demand for school places. This is partly due to the borough's rising population and partly due to the success of our schools - applications have risen considerably since 2000. We've been working over the last decade to:
- provide six brand new academies
- rebuild or refurbish six secondary schools
- rebuild or refurbish three special schools
- invest over £40m in new, refurbished and expanded primary schools
One new secondary and three more primary free schools have also opened along with one primary academy.
How many more places do we need?
By 2021 Hackney will need an extra:
- six forms of entry at primary school or 1,260 places - equivalent to three new schools
- eleven forms of entry at secondary school or 1,650 places - equivalent to two new schools
We'll continue to deliver these places through a combination of school expansion projects and building new schools where necessary.
To meet the demand for an additional 11 forms of entry, the Council has worked with the City of London to develop proposals for two new secondary schools. We've submitted applications to the Department for Education and these have been provisionally approved to proceed.
The first of these schools will open in September 2017 on a temporary site on Audrey Street, in Haggerston. A feasibility study is currently underway to assess the viability of building this new school's permanent accommodation on the Britannia site in Hoxton. There are more details on this project below.
The second school needed in the borough is expected to open in temporary accommodation in September 2020. It will move to its permanent site, currently occupied by Benthal Primary School, in 2022. There's more information on our plans for Benthal Primary School below.
We continue to review the demand for additional school places as it changes over time, and will continue to consider other options for meeting this demand, including the expansion of existing schools in the borough. Further information will be provided as these plans develop.
The Council recently submitted a planning application to use a former depot in Haggerston as a temporary school while it builds two brand new secondary schools to help meet the need for more local school places.
The site, in Audrey Street, was historically used as a depot by the Council's parks team, and was used as temporary accommodation for Bridge Academy in 2007, while its permanent site was built. The high quality temporary buildings will help Hackney to meet the need for two more schools by 2021, and ultimately provide 2,500 additional local school places.
The proposals are restricted to the hard-standing area within the existing fence line, which comprises 2.33% of the total park site. They do not include the nearby BMX track or the orchard area to the south of the depot site. Arrangements have been discussed with existing interim users of the depot site to relocate them elsewhere within the park.
The temporary site would initially provide accommodation for the school proposed for the Britannia site. It would open in 2017 and move into its permanent site in 2020, at which point pupils starting at the second secondary school would move in, until the proposed Benthal site opens in 2022.
A consultation event was held in June.
The Council will shortly start construction of the new facilities for New Regents College, the borough's alternative education school and pupil referral unit, on the site of its previous upper school, in Nile Street. To fund this work the Council also plans to build some residential accommodation on the site, for private sale. The planning applications for these schemes were approved at the planning committee held on 29 June, and construction is due to begin.
The permanent accommodation for Mossbourne Riverside Academy, which provided 30 places in 2015 on a temporary site, will open in September 2016, providing an additional 60 pupil places in each year group.
Holy Trinity will reopen in its new building in September 2016 providing an additional one form of entry. Further plans include the expansion of Sir Thomas Abney Primary School by one form of entry.
In addition to these plans we are looking at providing an additional two forms of entry at primary level between now and 2020, which will be through the expansion of existing schools.
More primary school places are needed in the Hackney Downs ward and so the Council intends to build a new primary school with two forms of entry on the site of the previous Downsview School, between Downs Road and Tiger Way.
To fund this work the Council also plans to build some residential accommodation on the site, for private sale. These plans were consulted on in July and September 2015. The planning application for this scheme was approved on 29 June and construction will begin in autumn 2016. The new school is expected to be completed in late 2018.
The Council intends to move Benthal Primary School to the existing site of Nightingale School, once the latter has moved to its new site at Tiger Way. Work to build new facilities for Benthal Primary on the Nightingale site is expected to be completed in 2020.
This will allow the existing Benthal Primary site to be used to provide the second new secondary school the borough requires.
How will the schools be funded?
The Council is less able to rely on government funding for capital projects, so in some locations we intend to co-locate education and residential developments. This will allow us to fund school building projects across the borough through the sale of residential property. In doing so, rather than allowing a private developer to take the lead, the Council will ensure that any funds remaining after the construction costs are met will contribute to providing Council services, rather than being siphoned off as profit by a developer.
Britannia development proposal
The Council has commissioned a feasibility study to look at a range of options for the Britannia Leisure Centre site. This will explore whether it is possible to provide new leisure facilities to replace the outdated leisure centre, build a new secondary school to provide essential school places, and provide some housing to pay for these community facilities.
The Council doesn't have the funding to provide a new school and leisure facilities, so, it is considering building housing on the site, sales of which would fund the wider scheme. It is also anticipated that the Council will receive some funding from the Education Funding Agency towards the cost of building the secondary school.The feasibility study will also look at whether it is beneficial to bring Whitmore Primary School in as part of the site. This is only one of the options, and will not be confirmed until the autumn, when the feasibility process is due to be completed.