Proposal for an Admissions Priority Area (APA) for Singlegate Primary School

Helen McAuley talked at the recent CWRA meeting about a proposed boundary for admissions to Singlegate Primary School. Read more about the work she has been doing on this.

Further to the agenda item at Tuesday’s Colliers Wood Residents Association (CWRA) meeting, You can see the map we looked at.  It shows the proposed boundary as well as the current radius around the school within which families have been offered a place for their Reception age child last year and this year.

I’ve also attached a brief rationale I wrote last September for those of you who haven’t been involved in previous discussion.

Since last September, discussion continued, initially with Caroline Cooper-Marbiah, one of our Ward councillors and the Cabinet member for education, followed by two meetings at the Civic Centre with all three of our Ward councillors and the officer responsible for admissions and planning/provision of places Tom Procter. Kevin Godding and I have represented CWRA at these meetings.

After the second meeting we agreed we needed confirmation that CWRA wanted to promote the case for an APA, and it was voted on and approved at the CWRA meeting in May (2017).

With the notion agreed in principle, we have spent the time since May coming up with the most fair potential boundary for an APA. This was what I reported on at Tuesday’s meeting. There are bound to be contentious points and we want as much feedback from  families living in Colliers Wood before we devise a flyer to circulate the question to as many people as possible. As you will know from the meeting, the principle I’d applied, and which is mentioned below, has raised other questions, eg the splitting of the Abbey Orchard estate. When Caroline and I walk the potential boundary again this evening, we’ll look especially at that, at Myrna Close and Kendall Court as well as discuss the size of the area/number of dwellings.

We need to have a robust position to present to Merton Council as a request from residents is apparently unprecedented in Merton. Previous APA consultations have been initiated by the Council. The Council will need to agree that this is a reasonable request which won’t impact negatively on overall provision of primary schooling in the neighbouring areas. If they agree, they will do a consultation and seek approval.

These are the key points to explain  the attached map:

Although Singlegate school has expanded it’s annual admission number to 90 children, the radius drawn shows that families in homes to the north east and north west of Colliers Wood do not get a place at the school under the criterion ‘distance from home to school’. (Importantly, this is the case already, before any of the flats in the Tower, Library, or above the proposed Sainsbury’s Local are occupied. The reach radius is likely to shrink as Colliers Wood becomes more densely populated.)

Families living in these two areas to the north and on the borough boundary with Wandsworth, are severely limited in their access to schools. Singlegate is the only readily accessible school for them as well as being their local community school.

The proposed Admission Priority Area boundary has been drawn very carefully taking account of physical boundaries to ensure impartiality. The principle applied, and confirmed by walking the boundary, is that homes in the north of Colliers Wood ward which can access Singlegate via a direct route on foot and also by car have been included. Families with a disabled child, or a disabled parent taking a child to school will need vehicular access on a direct route.

AN ADMISSIONS PRIORITY AREA (APA) WOULD HELP TO SECURE A PLACE FOR THOSE LIVING WITHIN IT AS A PRIORITY.

IT WON’T EXCLUDE THOSE WHO LIVE OUTSIDE IT. THEY WOULD HAVE DISTANCE FROM HOME TO SCHOOL IN THE USUAL WAY ONCE THE APPLICATIONS FROM FAMILIES WITHIN THE APA HAVE BEEN MET

School Provision in Colliers Wood

Singlegate Admissions Map