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Southwark Labour slams coalition government plans to block much-needed secondary school in Dulwich

17 July 2014
Southwark Labour councillors are calling on the Education Secretary to support local parental campaigns for a new secondary school on the Dulwich Hospital site, following revelations that former Education Secretary Michael Gove has been pressing ahead with plans for a new primary school on the site.
Labour Leader Peter John wrote to former Education Secretary Michael Gove demanding clarity about his plans after Gove announced that the hospital site has been identified for a new Harris 'Nunhead' primary school, despite a strong local parental campaign for a secondary school on the site. Councillor John described the Education Secretary’s efforts to progress with plans for a new school without consulting local parents or the local authority as “unacceptable”, arguing that the proposals would “fly in the face of the concept of free schools” by ignoring local need and support.

Labour councillors in Dulwich have also raised concerns over the proposals in a motion to full council, calling on councillors from all parties to support the parental campaign for a secondary school on the Dulwich Hospital site.

Cabinet Member for Children and Schools Cllr Victoria Mills said:

“There is clear evidence of the need for a new secondary school in the Dulwich area and the hospital site has been identified as the only suitable site in the local area. Local parents have been campaigning for a secondary school on this site and Labour councillors, as well as our Labour MP Tessa Jowell, are completely behind this campaign.
“Putting at risk the plans for a much needed secondary school in this area goes completely against the coalition government’s own policy of responding to local need and demand. It raises further questions about the Coalition Government putting politics before the needs of children by diverting money away from areas with a real shortage of places.”

Tessa Jowell, MP for Dulwich and West Norwood, said:

“Local parents know that there is an overwhelming need for a new secondary school in the area. The Dulwich Hospital site is a ready location. Michael Gove’s successor as Education Secretary, Nicky Morgan, needs to listen and understand this.”


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