Local Talk

Merton: dumbing-down Dundonald Primary School?

(166 Posts)
page1 Fri 03-Jun-11 14:15:20

1. Merton Council's consultation process regarding the proposed expansion of Dundonald Primary School(DPS) has now commenced and information can be obtained from their website or that of DPS. The Council has distributed a leaflet to residents for feedback and is due to hold a public meeting on Wednesday 8 June.

2. Disappointingly, the Conservatives, LibDems and Independents have been very quiet on the issue. The Labour Party has given out letters supporting the proposed expansion and, to his credit, Cllr Walker has had the courage to put his personal credibility on the line given his close involvement with the campaign. However, threatening parents/carers that they will have to take their children to school in Morden if the Council doesn't get its way seems a little extreme. Frankly, parents don't care how far they travel if their children can attend an outstanding state school.

2. It seems that the governors of DPS only agreed to an expansion programme on condition that the Council provided more space. The governors knew that this was impossible for the Council to achieve because of the existence of the restrictive covenant concerning the neighbouring park (see the petition on the Council website).

3. The proposal to double the size of DPS, starting with the temporary bulge class, has caused much concern to parents of pupils at the school as witnessed by DPS being forced to issue an explanatory letter and Q&A to try and quell those fears.

4. DPS is a popular school because it had an outstanding rating from Ofsted following the last inspection and it is the ideal size. It currently has around 250 pupils which is the average number for a primary school in England. If it doubles in size, parents fear that standards may slip. Merton has 40+ primary schools of which only 6 were rated outstanding and the majority of those were 1FE schools ie similar number of pupils to DPS.

5. Parents are also worried by the disruption to their children's education that will occur once construction begins on such a small and restricted site with all the attendant health and safety issues.

6. The school currently enjoys a harmonious relationship with the neighbouring community which might not survive if the Council's plans prevail.

7. Somewhat surprisingly, the Council's consultation process takes no account of ethnic diversity.

Please feel free to forward this to and/or discuss the contents with any parents of pupils at Dundonald Primary School who may have concerns about the Council's plans and say NO to the proposal.

PAGE - Parents AGainst Expansion

Horsetowater Mon 21-May-12 21:15:03

I think Siobahn Benita was planning to insist on a non-expansion rule for London schools, with the idea that more, smaller schools should be built rather than the size of schools increased.

But we won't get that now cos nobody voted for her!

piji Wed 23-May-12 12:40:10

DLD10

No, you're wrong there. Town planning doesn't go by precedent. It's not a case of "we've allowed you to extend your kitchen, so we'll allow you to build a block of flats".

The Planning Inspectorate says:

"Parties will sometimes suggest that there are precedents (either a local planning authority’s decision or an appeal decision) elsewhere in the locality which either justify the local planning authority’s refusal of the application or lend support to the appellant’s case that approval should be granted. In reality the precedent argument is very rarely persuasive or conclusive as each case will differ in its circumstances from others and must be considered on its merits. We encourage the main parties to consider very carefully whether to include a reference to precedents in their cases."

PLANNING INSPECTORATE GOOD PRACTICE ADVICE NOTE 07
www.planningportal.gov.uk/uploads/pins/gpa_07.pdf

Similarly, although the Upper Tribunal (Lands) is a 'court of record' and can set precedent in the interpretation of law, that's not at all the same thing as thinking that because one project has been allowed, another project on an adjoining site must be allowed. Each case is considered on its individual merits.

Re "new building will be a school.... limited public access": you're wrong on the facts there as well. Take a look at the drawings. Part of the new building is a pavilion, distinct from the school.

piji Wed 23-May-12 12:41:02
designerbaby Wed 23-May-12 15:46:43

That's what I thought piji, having just been through planning stuff for our house, but I was too lazy to find the link. grin

C'mon though you lot - get your responses in... time's a wastin'.

db
xx

FamiliesShareGerms Thu 24-May-12 19:24:21

What's the deadline for supporting the expansion proposal? Have I missed the boat?

designerbaby Thu 24-May-12 23:13:09

Don't think you've missed the boat, Germy, but er, maybe do it tomorrow!?

grinshock

piji Fri 25-May-12 11:29:13

Horsetowater

I voted for Siobhan! I'd be very happy with the building of more schools - it's the idea that we should all sit around moaning, neither building more schools nor expanding existing ones, which I find annoying.

FamiliesShareGerms

I think you're just in time, but we're getting down to the wire. I'm not sure of the exact deadline.

Primafacie Fri 25-May-12 12:01:54

I believe the deadline is 31 May.

piji Fri 15-Jun-12 11:34:56

Some hard data, released by Merton Council through FOIA:

www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/dundonald_ward_school_places_dun#comment-28734

"This is the list of school places for 4-year-olds in Merton who did not get one of their six school choices, for entry to Reception in September 2012.

The first column is distance (from home to school, in metres), the second column is the name of the school, the third column is the partial postcode.

DISTANCE ESTAB_NAME
1278.97 All Saints' CofE Primary School SW19 8
1473.96 All Saints' CofE Primary School SW19 8
1524.24 All Saints' CofE Primary School SW19 8
1668.18 All Saints' CofE Primary School SW19 7
1674.64 All Saints' CofE Primary School SW19 7
1696.48 All Saints' CofE Primary School SW19 7
1710.32 All Saints' CofE Primary School SW19 7
1727.09 All Saints' CofE Primary School SW19 8
1769.23 All Saints' CofE Primary School SW19 7
2537.27 All Saints' CofE Primary School SW19 4
254.01 Beecholme Primary School CR4 2
507.22 Beecholme Primary School CR4 2
705.9 Beecholme Primary School CR4 2
881.5 Beecholme Primary School CR4 2
913.76 Beecholme Primary School SW17 9
974.04 Beecholme Primary School SW17 9
1070.59 Beecholme Primary School CR4 3
1648.46 Beecholme Primary School CR4 3
2024.38 Beecholme Primary School SW19 2
2227.67 Beecholme Primary School CR4 3
2284.87 Beecholme Primary School SW19 1
2419.58 Beecholme Primary School CR4 4
2492.54 Beecholme Primary School CR4 4
3314.76 Beecholme Primary School SM4 6
1143.52 Benedict Primary School SM4 5
1489.61 Benedict Primary School SM4 6
1612.71 Benedict Primary School SM4 6
1861.7 Bond Primary School SW19 1
1751.19 Garden Primary School CR4 2
2395.74 Garden Primary School CR4 4
2703.96 Garden Primary School CR4 4
249.46 Garfield Primary School SW19 1
349.68 Garfield Primary School SW19 8
349.68 Garfield Primary School SW19 8
1289.97 Garfield Primary School SW19 7
1373.92 Garfield Primary School SW19 7
1376.58 Garfield Primary School SW19 7
1433.55 Garfield Primary School SW19 7
1444.62 Garfield Primary School SW19 7
1455.52 Garfield Primary School SW19 7
1490.63 Garfield Primary School SW19 7
1490.63 Garfield Primary School SW19 7
1514.74 Garfield Primary School SW19 7
1524.66 Garfield Primary School SW19 7
1579.37 Garfield Primary School SW19 7
1590.5 Garfield Primary School SW19 7
1595.08 Garfield Primary School SW19 7
1643.46 Garfield Primary School SW19 7
703.99 Hillcross Primary School SW20 9
705.09 Hillcross Primary School SM4 4
794.45 Hillcross Primary School SW20 9
803.35 Hillcross Primary School SW20 9
1131.46 Hillcross Primary School SW20 9
1151.49 Hillcross Primary School SW20 8
1320.08 Hillcross Primary School SW20 8
1325.86 Hillcross Primary School SW20 8
1369.7 Hillcross Primary School SW20 9
1376.48 Hillcross Primary School SW20 8
1380.37 Hillcross Primary School SW20 8
1398.58 Hillcross Primary School KT3 6
1459.93 Hillcross Primary School KT3 6
1548.6 Hillcross Primary School KT3 6
524.02 Joseph Hood Primary School SW20 8
591.47 Joseph Hood Primary School SW20 8
591.47 Joseph Hood Primary School SW20 8
658.94 Joseph Hood Primary School SW20 8
693.92 Joseph Hood Primary School SW20 8
771.46 Joseph Hood Primary School SW20 8
803.65 Joseph Hood Primary School SW20 8
835.52 Joseph Hood Primary School SW20 8
846.31 Joseph Hood Primary School SW20 8
883.88 Joseph Hood Primary School SW20 8
920.9 Joseph Hood Primary School SW20 8
927.38 Joseph Hood Primary School SW19 4
950.06 Joseph Hood Primary School SW20 8
976.29 Joseph Hood Primary School SW20 8
1017.59 Joseph Hood Primary School SW20 8
1033.83 Joseph Hood Primary School SW19 4
1125.66 Joseph Hood Primary School SW20 0
1180.96 Joseph Hood Primary School SW20 8
1212.31 Joseph Hood Primary School SW20 0
1260.82 Joseph Hood Primary School SW19 4
1261.42 Joseph Hood Primary School SW19 4
1264.63 Joseph Hood Primary School SW20 8
1285.36 Joseph Hood Primary School SW20 8
1332.27 Joseph Hood Primary School SW20 8
1332.27 Joseph Hood Primary School SW20 8
1336.62 Joseph Hood Primary School SW20 8
1340.94 Joseph Hood Primary School SW20 8
1359.52 Joseph Hood Primary School SW20 0
1433.91 Joseph Hood Primary School SW19 4
1452.07 Joseph Hood Primary School SW20 8
1557.57 Joseph Hood Primary School SW20 0
123.42 Liberty School CR4 3
2032.86 Liberty School SW19 1
2072.51 Liberty School SW19 1
2160.19 Liberty School SW19 8
2248.1 Liberty School SW19 3
2280.95 Liberty School SW19 3
2286.64 Liberty School SW19 8
2288.42 Liberty School SM4 6
2383.35 Liberty School SW19 3
2433.11 Liberty School SW19 3
2463.79 Liberty School SW19 8
2556.67 Liberty School SW19 3
2565.4 Liberty School SW19 3
2566.81 Liberty School SW19 3
2687.67 Liberty School SW19 3
285.32 Lonesome Primary School CR4 2
1490.47 Lonesome Primary School SW17 9
1548.62 Lonesome Primary School CR4 3
1619.88 Lonesome Primary School CR4 3
1812.76 Lonesome Primary School CR4 3
1831.08 Lonesome Primary School CR4 3
1918.96 Lonesome Primary School CR4 3
1921.36 Lonesome Primary School CR4 3
2005.82 Lonesome Primary School SW19 2
2060.2 Lonesome Primary School CR4 3
2080.58 Lonesome Primary School SW19 2
2113.44 Lonesome Primary School SW19 2
2125.99 Lonesome Primary School SW19 2
2166.55 Lonesome Primary School SW19 2
2271.84 Lonesome Primary School SW19 2
2513.64 Lonesome Primary School SW19 1
1204.74 Merton Abbey Primary School SW19 3
1446.49 Merton Abbey Primary School SW19 4
1568.92 Merton Abbey Primary School SW19 7
1573.78 Merton Abbey Primary School SW19 4
1573.78 Merton Abbey Primary School SW19 4
1579.72 Merton Abbey Primary School SW19 7
1580.25 Merton Abbey Primary School SW19 7
1615 Merton Abbey Primary School SW19 4
1637.3 Merton Abbey Primary School SW19 4
1697.41 Merton Abbey Primary School SW19 4
1702.18 Merton Abbey Primary School SW19 4
1754.34 Merton Abbey Primary School SW19 4
1801.13 Merton Abbey Primary School SW19 7
1889.96 Merton Abbey Primary School SW19 4
1893.52 Merton Abbey Primary School SW19 7
1911.8 Merton Abbey Primary School SW19 4
203.74 Stanford Primary School SW16 4
292.5 Stanford Primary School SW16 4
1268.09 Stanford Primary School SW16 6
1341.34 Stanford Primary School SW16 6
1409.34 Stanford Primary School SW17 9
512.34 William Morris Primary School CR4 1
512.34 William Morris Primary School CR4 1
698.69 William Morris Primary School CR7 6
730.84 William Morris Primary School CR7 6
1372.55 William Morris Primary School CR4 1
1482.76 William Morris Primary School CR4 1
2421.25 William Morris Primary School CR4 3
2511.83 William Morris Primary School CR4 4
2591.55 William Morris Primary School CR4 4
2773.45 William Morris Primary School CR4 3

I'm not certain which postcode areas correspond to the Dundonald ward - 'SW19 3' certainly does, so here's those entries picked out:

1204.74 Merton Abbey Primary School SW19 3
2248.1 Liberty School SW19 3
2280.95 Liberty School SW19 3
2383.35 Liberty School SW19 3
2433.11 Liberty School SW19 3
2556.67 Liberty School SW19 3
2565.4 Liberty School SW19 3
2566.81 Liberty School SW19 3
2687.67 Liberty School SW19 3

so those are mostly Liberty school, with a max distance of 2.7km.

The highest distance in the borough is 3314:

3314.76 Beecholme Primary School SM4 6

And the lowest (bearing in mind that this is a list only of those children who did NOT get into one of their six preference schools) is:

123.42 Liberty School CR4 3

(so obviously this is a family which lives very near Liberty school, but did not place Liberty among their six choices). "

Lulama Mon 17-Sep-12 14:49:42

Hi

I found your list very interesting - Just wanted some clarification - is this the list for places that were available at the first set of offers for children who did not get any of their preferred school places

Best regards

piji Fri 08-Mar-13 15:41:22

"is this the list for places that were available at the first set of offers for children who did not get any of their preferred school places"

Almost.

The list shows the school place which was offered to each child who did not get a place at any of their chosen schools.

As such, it shows the closest available school place to each child.

So for example, for children near Dundonald who did not get into Dundonald or any of their chosen schools (e.g. probably Wimbledon Chase), one got a place in Merton Abbey (in South Wimbledon, just over 1km away) and for the rest, their closest school place was in Liberty (about 2.5km away in Mitcham).

As far as I know, this is the only school place offered to each of these children, so referring to it as the "first set of offers" isn't quite right, because there are no further offers to follow - each of these is the only school place offered to each of these children. If I understand the system right. Otherwise, you've got it.

piji Fri 12-Jul-13 17:59:16

update:

- The Lands Tribunal has given permission for the school expansion to go ahead.

- "Save Our Rec" have appealed the decision and lost.

- Their latest tactic is to disrupt the school's PE lessons by occupying the sports area and refusing to leave. This is in their new incarnation as "Dundonald Rec Tennis Club".

For more info see:
www.merton.gov.uk/council/getinvolved/schoolsconsultations/dundonald-school-consultation.htm
(Updated 11 July)

Primafacie Mon 29-Jul-13 22:56:07

Thanks Piji for the update. How grown up of them, disrupting innocent children's PE! Fucking pathetic.

piji Tue 18-Feb-14 17:48:42

A further update, now we're in 2014:

- "Dundonald Tennis Club" (in reality, the "Save Our Rec" people) continues its campaign to disrupt the school's PE lessons by occupying the sports area and refusing to leave, when it's time for PE. Dr Ernesto Pinto is the main person doing this. Sometimes it's just him standing there by himself, bouncing his tennis ball and denying the use of the sports area to a class of 30 school-children.

- Some discussion of the plans is taking place here:
dundonaldlibdems.focusteam.org.uk/2013/01/17/council-approves-expansion-onto-dundonald-rec/#comments
including some good examples of scare-mongering (e.g. false claims that the school expansion plans allow the council to redevelop the whole of the Rec, false claims that the plans are illegal).

- "Save Our Rec" have filed 3 different judicial review applications against Merton Council. I haven't seen the papers, my understanding is that they're contesting:
1) The council's right to determine who uses the sports area at what times,
2) The council's right to erect signs in the Rec,
3) The school expansion.

Inneedofstrongblackcoffee Sat 22-Feb-14 10:14:42

Thanks piji. I am a late arrival to this debate. There is certainly a lot of background reading to catch up on.

paddybear Sat 26-Apr-14 12:11:56

To add some more facts (rather than the lies spread by SOR), post offers for reception places:
Dundonald Primary had 496 applicants for 30 places, or 16.5:1; the next highest ratios are at Merton Park (7.8:1) and Holy Trinity (6:1). So if you agree that good schools with high demand should be the ones to expand, and not underperforming ones (a policy which I think is eminently sensible), then the obvious schools to target for expansion are Dundonald and Merton Park, both currently 1FE only.
Hope the judicial review applications are thrown out sooner rather than later so that expansion works can start asap - this year again some children (I know personally of at least one case) got no offer at all (hopefully will get through waiting list).

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