Earlier this month Wandsworth Council consulted local residents and parents on the Council’s proposals to expand six schools across the borough, including Broadwater Primary School in Tooting.
The Council proposed to expand Broadwater School from 2 form entry to 3 form entry, increasing the number of children in each year from 60 to 90. Parents and governors opposed these proposals as expansion would mean a much smaller playground, no space for a full school assembly and squeezing 90 children into classrooms currently holding 60. The proposals would also have led to increased traffic for the neighbouring streets.
The local MP, Sadiq Khan, and Councillor Sheila Boswell worked closely with parents at the school to support their campaign to stop the expansion. Sadiq raised parents’ worries with the Council and submitted his concerns about the impact expansion would have on the quality of education provided by the school to the consultation.
The consultation closed on Wednesday 22nd June and an unprecedented 341 responses were submitted for Broadwater Primary (totalling more than half of all responses received for the consultation on all six schools). 316 of the responses opposed expansion - a resounding no from local parents and residents.
Wandsworth Council have finally listened to the concerns and have now announced that the Council is no longer planning to expand the school at this stage.
Sadiq Khan MP said,
“I have always supported the call for extra primary school places in Wandsworth – but the council’s plans to expand Broadwater Primary School were simply ill-thought out. Broadwater is a fantastic school and I shared parents’ concerns that the expansion would have compromised the high standards of education provided by the school.
“Expansion received a resounding no from parents and residents and I’m relieved to see the Council have finally listened and have agreed to halt their plans.
“This is another shining example of how the community can pull together on a campaign, and work together to succeed.”
“I will closely monitor future developments at the council to make sure any plans to expand are not done so to the detriment of our children’s education or well being”.
Local parent, Richard Lines said,
"As a parent of a Year 1 pupil at Broadwater Primary, I am delighted by the council's decision to halt the planned expansion of the school. There is no doubt in my mind that my daughter's education - and that of all Broadwater pupils - will be better served by the school remaining its current size and thereby retaining its wonderful inclusive learning environment and strong links with the community.
“As an active member of the Stop Broadwater Expansion Campaign, I am really pleased with the response from my fellow parents and local residents. We worked very hard to draw the expansion plans to the attention of the local community and to point out their numerous flaws. We're very grateful to everyone who took the time to fill in a consultation form and register their dissent. I'd also like to thank Sadiq Khan MP for his invaluable support during the campaign, which undoubtedly contributed to its success.”