Broadwater pre-publication consultation - proposal to close (discontinue) a maintained school  

Closed 29 Nov 2022

Opened 12 Oct 2022

Overview

Update 07/11/22

In response to requests for further information, the following documents have been added to the consultation material and translations at the bottom of this page:

  • Size of schools local to Broadwater Primary School in Tooting, Earlsfield and Balham
  • Vacancies at schools local to Broadwater 
  • Proposed special school specification 

Update 27/10/22

Thank you to all those who attended the online consultation meeting on 19 October. We are grateful for your feedback, which will be considered alongside all other consultation responses and summarised in our report to be published following the pre-publication consultation period.

An in-person consultation meeting at Broadwater School has been arranged for 9 November between 5.30 and 7pm. All are welcome to attend - please come along to give us your views and ask any questions you may have about the consultation.

Update 19/10/22

As a precautionary measure, due to the confirmed case of Scarlet Fever, the planned in person Public Pre-Publication consultation meeting this afternoon (19th October) regarding the proposal to close Broadwater Primary School and repurpose the site for an SEN provision will now take place online.  Following a discussion with and agreement of the headteacher, Jo Ghosh, this decision was made in the best interest of all parties due to attend this evening.

We wanted to ensure that those affected by the proposal were still provided with the opportunity to be heard and any questions they may have in relation to the consultation document answered. 

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

Join the Microsoft Teams meeting on your computer or mobile app - Click here to join the meeting

Meeting ID: 345 359 179 598
Passcode: VSWXbL

If you need more information on how to join, please click on the following link: Join a meeting in Teams (microsoft.com)

We will liaise with the headteacher to agree a future in-person event should parents and carers wish to meet.

Consultation overview

After careful consideration, Wandsworth Council has made the difficult decision to consult on a proposal to close Broadwater Primary School in the Summer Term of 2023, with the intention to repurpose the site for a Special Needs School. If the recommendation is approved, this will provide approximately 190 places to local pupils with complex special needs to meet increasing demand in the borough. 

Why are we proposing this change? 

This proposal is primarily driven by our aspirations for our Wandsworth children with SEND to have their needs met locally, keeping them close to their families and friends and the need to retain a sustainable school system. 

The increase in demand for specialist places means that there is no longer sufficient capacity within our own existing special school provision, and we are having to commission places outside of Wandsworth, often in independent schools. As a result, many of our young people with SEND have to travel long distances to attend schools away from their communities. This has a significant impact on children, their families and brings with it a significant financial cost, which places additional budgetary pressures on the overall school system.  

Whilst the need for additional specialist SEND provision has increased, pupil numbers in mainstream primary schools has seen a steady decline. This is not unique to Wandsworth. The reduction in primary school age children is a direct result of families leaving the city as a consequence of Brexit, increased cost of living, lifestyle changes following the pandemic, as well as noticeable low birth rates across South West London.  

To address these two issues decisive action is required to both secure additional specialist SEND capacity, as well as reduce surplus school places in the primary sector. This proposal will address both of these aims. This proposal is no reflection on the quality of teaching, skillset of staff and the leadership of the school.  

We are committed through this consultation, to be clear and transparent, to listen to and act on the views and concerns of those affected, and to provide reassurance. 

Whilst we understand that this proposal will inevitably impact on the children, parents and teachers of the Broadwater school community, this proposal has been put forward in the wider interest of all children and families in Wandsworth and particularly with the most vulnerable SEND children in mind.  

Consultation and decision-making process 

There is a defined statutory process in the School Organisation (Establishment and Discontinuance of Schools) Regulations 2013 which must be followed before making a decision on the closure of a maintained school. This is supplemented by further guidance on the process published by the Department for Education.  

There are five stages to the statutory process: 

Consultation:  

 

The views of interested parties are sought and will be considered by the local authority

Publication 

Dependent upon the outcome of the consultation, the local authority will decide whether or not to publish statutory notices regarding the proposed closure

Representation 

The representation period starts on the date of publication of the statutory notice and must last for a period of four weeks.  During this period, any person or organisation can submit comments on the proposal to the local authority, to be taken into account before a final decision is taken 

Decision 

Within two months of the end of the representation period the local authority must make a decision on the proposal. 

Implementation 

If the proposal is approved, Broadwater Primary School would close on 31 August 2023

Who we will consult 

The local authority is consulting with pupils, parents and carers, staff, the governing board, other local schools and trade unions. We are also consulting with other groups as well as the wider local community. 

Equality Impact Assessment 

An Equality Impact Assessment has been undertaken to identify the potential impacts of this proposal on groups with protected characteristics, and any appropriate mitigation. We are seeking views on this as part of this consultation. 

How to take part in the consultation

Please ensure you read the following documents so that you have all the information you need to respond.

Consultation document

Equality Impact Assessment

Frequently asked questions 

Have your say

Please give us your views by clicking on the Online Survey link below. 

If you need to request a paper copy, a different language or format, or if you need any support to take part in the consultation, please call 020 8871 7316 (please note that callers should opt for the Admissions and Transfers option and refer to ‘Broadwater Consultation’)

The consultation documents are also available in Urdu, Polish and Somali - please use the links at the bottom of this page or call 020 8871 7316 as above

There will be a public consultation event at Broadwater Primary School on Wednesday 19th October between 5.30 and 7pm. Any further public events organised during the consultation period will be added to this page. 

What happens next

Upon concluding this consultation stage, all views will be considered in full and the Director of Children’s Services in consultation with the Cabinet lead for children will decide whether to publish statutory proposals for these changes.  

Proposed consultation timeline:

Activity 

Timeline  

Pre-publication consultation 

12th October to 29th November 2022 

Review period for consultation feedback and decision for Director of Children’s Services in consultation with the Cabinet lead for children on whether to publish statutory proposals for these changes. 

 

December 2022 

Formal consultation 

January 2023  

Executive Committee – decision on outcome of formal consultation.  

February 2023  

Areas

  • All Areas

Audiences

  • Open to all

Interests

  • Wandsworth Borough