Paddock School consultation

Closed 2 Feb 2023

Opened 5 Jan 2023

Overview

Update 27/01/23

Thank you to those who attended the public consultation event at Paddock School on the 18th January. The questions raised at the meeting, and the responses to them, are available to read here.

 

Update 18/01/23

There will be a public consultation event at Paddock Upper School, Priory Lane, on Wednesday 18th January, from 5.30-7pm. If you would prefer to attend this meeting online the joining details are as follows:

Click here to join the meeting

Meeting ID: 331 877 079 586
Passcode: MHrTwm

 

Background

In Wandsworth it is our ambition for our local area to be the best place to grow up for all children, including those with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). To achieve this, it is important that we ensure that the needs of children with SEND are met locally keeping them closer to their families and friends.

Wandsworth Council is proposing to make the difficult decision to close Broadwater Primary School, a mainstream provision, at the end of the summer term 2023, to allow for the site to be repurposed as a SEND provision for a relocated and expanded Paddock secondary and 6th form school. These proposals will deliver a circa. £20m, high-quality, 192-place provision that will not only better meet the needs of Paddock pupils, parents and staff but also create further places.  Our aim is for the repurposed school site to be open for Paddock pupils by academic year 2025/26. The proposal will also address the financial challenges faced by school leaders associated with falling pupil rolls in the primary mainstream sector, ensuring a sustainable school system.

A decision was made in December 2022 by the Director of Children’s Services and the Lead Cabinet Member to proceed to the formal stage of the statutorily regulated processes for the ‘prescribed alterations’ to Paddock School regarding relocation and expansion onto the Broadwater site, and the discontinuance (closure) of Broadwater Primary School. Both consultations will last 4 weeks and run concurrently from Thursday 5th January 2023 to midnight on Thursday 2nd February 2023. The Broadwater School consultation can be found here

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 need for additional specialist SEND provision is increasing, but pupil numbers in mainstream primary schools has seen a steady decline. The increase in demand for specialist places and a lack of local provision means 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 and their families and brings with it a significant financial cost, as we are having to spend £11 million a year on independent placements, which places additional budgetary pressures on the overall school system.

Schools for pupils with Severe Learning Disabilities (SLD) is where we need more local provision, with demand for over 24 places a year. Paddock Special School is an OFSTED ‘Outstanding’ local provision that currently meets the needs of approximately 215 pupils, of which the majority are SLD, but it is now at capacity. We are placing children with SLD in the independent sector, with the difference in cost between local and independent provision at £30,000 on average.

The Council has previously made capital investment in Paddock School, however, further reconfiguration and improvement works and the need for increased capacity, are not feasible at the two sites across which the school operates.

Broadwater Primary School has been particularly impacted by the decline in mainstream pupil numbers. Given the size of Broadwater Primary School’s site footprint, repurposing the site would deliver both the internal and external space needed to accommodate the build of a high-quality, fit for purpose, specialist provision to meet the needs of a large cohort of SEND pupils with SLD/complex needs.  The building work will be funded through Wandsworth’s High Needs capital allocation awarded by the Department of Education.

Our consultation approach

The local authority will consult 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. 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.  

While these are exciting plans for Paddock’s future in the medium-term, we appreciate these proposals may still give rise to some uncertainty and create questions for the Paddock School community. We are working closely with the school leadership team to ensure staff, pupils and families, and the wider community are supported throughout this process on an ongoing basis, and to ensure any change is handled efficiently and sensitively. We will provide a number of other opportunities to share views and to shape plans, if the proposals are progressed.

How to share your views

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

The following document may also be useful:

Statutory guidance for prescribed alterations

It is important that we hear your views and we have arranged a number of opportunities to do so, as detailed below. 

  • We would encourage you to complete the online survey as the most efficient and secure way to give your views. Please click on the Online Survey link below 
  • You can send comments by post to: Paddock Formal Consultation, Wandsworth Local Authority, Commissioning Team, 5th Floor, Wandsworth Town Hall, Wandsworth High Street, London SW18 2PU
  • You can attend the public consultation event at Paddock Upper School, Priory Lane, on Wednesday 18th January, from 5.30-7pm.

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 write to the address above,  email consult@wandsworth.gov.uk or telephone 020 8871 7316. If telephoning, please choose the Admissions and Transfers option and refer to ‘Paddock Formal Consultation’ when you get through to an Officer.

Next Steps

All responses received during the consultation process will be considered before a decision is made on whether to proceed with this proposal.

The following timeline is dependent on a decision being made to proceed with the proposals for both Broadwater and Paddock, and has been informed by statutory requirements:

Activity

Timeline

4-week statutory representations (‘formal consultation’)

Consultation period: Thursday 5th January 2023 (first day of Spring Term) to Thursday 2nd February 2023

Overview and Scrutiny Committee and Executive Committee – making decisions on the proposals for Paddock and Broadwater following the formal consultation/s   

OSC – 6th March 2023

 

Executive 7th March 2023

Closure of Broadwater (if agreed)

31 August 2023

Building programme - commence repurposing of Broadwater site for SEN provision

September 2023

Completion of building programme

Academic Year 2025/26 (estimated)

Decant of Paddock - Middle School (Yr 7 and 8) and Upper School (Yr 9-14) pupils decanted to repurposed school building

Academic Year 2025/26 (estimated)

Areas

  • All Areas

Audiences

  • Open to all

Interests

  • Wandsworth Borough