Broadwater School in Tooting to be converted
December 13, 2023
Permission has been given for the conversion of a former school building in Tooting into new premises for Paddock School.
The specials needs (SEND) school which is currently based in Priory Lane in Roehampton and is rated as ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted provides education for children with severe learning difficulties.
The council says that this expansion onto a new site means that more children will benefit from being closer to friends and family as they learn in a purpose-built environment.
The council said it was spending over £11million a year on sending children with special needs to private schools because of a lack of capacity in the borough.
It was therefore decided to close the undersubscribed Broadwater School and convert it to be a new site for Paddock Secondary School at a cost of £20million. The Broadwater site had capacity for three or four forms in a year but, at the time of its closure, was providing only one. Paddock will be able to increase from two forms per year group to three, creating 64 new places and a total of 192. It is understood that the Roehampton site will be retained as a facility for SEND children.
The number of SEND pupils in the borough has risen by 44% since 2016 and they now comprise nearly one in five attending schools in the borough.
The existing Paddock School site on Priory Lane
Councillor Kate Stock, cabinet member for children said, “It is our ambition to meet the needs of children in their local area, and this development is a significant step towards increasing our local education provision for children with SEND. We are grateful for the support we have received from both residents and stakeholders”.
Willmott Dixon have been appointed as the contractor for the project and work is expected to start in the new year. The first cohort of students should arrive at the new site in the 2025/26 academic year.
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