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Southwark Labour continues to fight for new secondary school on the Dulwich Hospital site

22 October 2014
Southwark Labour is continuing its campaign for a new secondary school on the Dulwich Hospital site, amending the draft Southwark Plan to make clear the council’s preference for a new secondary school on the hospital site, alongside the new NHS health centre. Southwark Labour is also calling on Minister of State for Schools, David Laws, not to press ahead with plans for a new primary school on the site, which will compromise the space which is available for a new secondary school.

Southwark’s Labour Cabinet has amended the draft Southwark Plan to set out clearly the council’s preference for any remaining land on the hospital site to be used for a secondary school alone, once the NHS has determined the amount of space needed for a new health centre.

Southwark Labour is also backing a petition to David Laws MP, calling on the Minister not to squeeze two schools onto the Dulwich Hospital site, but rather to support local parental campaigns for a much needed, adequately resourced secondary school and health centre on the site. 

Labour councillors have been campaigning for a new secondary school in East Dulwich and the council has been in close contact with the two providers as they have developed their free school bids for the site, as well as facilitating communication between the NHS and the Education Funding Agency, which will seek to buy the additional land on the hospital site.

Labour Leader Councillor Peter John has previously written to former Education Secretary Michael Gove demanding clarity on the department’s plans, after Gove announced that the hospital site had been identified for a new Harris ‘Nunhead’ primary, despite strong local parental campaigns for a secondary school on the site.

Labour has argued that squeezing both a primary and secondary school on to the hospital site would compromise facilities that could be provided and is calling for the site to be used for a well-resourced new secondary school, rather than squeezing two new schools on the site.

Cabinet Member for Children and Schools Cllr Victoria Mills said:

“We will continue to do all we can to support a new secondary school on the Dulwich hospital site, from supporting providers to get approval to open the school, to helping to unlock the site by making clear the council’s preference for a secondary school on the site in the draft New Southwark Plan.

“But it is also so important that this new school has the space and resources it needs to ensure that the local children attending have the best range of opportunities open to them, which is why we are calling for only one adequately resourced secondary school, and opposing plans to squeeze both a secondary and a primary school on the site. I would urge parents and members of the community who want to see a new secondary school on the site to sign the petition to David Laws asking that the hospital site is protected for new a secondary school and health centre only.”

“Local parents are clear that they want a new secondary school on this site and our primary places planning demonstrates that there are adequate primary places in this area – we would encourage providers interested in opening a new primary school in Southwark to work with us to provide places where there is actually a shortage of places. The partnership we have recently set up with the Corporation of London to reopen Galleywall School in Bermondsey is clear evidence of what is possible.”


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