Free Secondary School Plan For Wimbledon Is Abandoned

Chain continues with work on its new primary school building

Controversial plans by a Christian-based academy chain to open a new free secondary school in Wimbledon have been abandoned.

The Chapel Street chain announced last year that it would open 1,200 place Trinity High School across three sites in Wimbledon in September 2016.

But the plans have now been withdrawn.

Merton's Labour group has welcomed the news, as it is backing a scheme by the rival Harris Academy.

Councillor Martin Whelton, Cabinet Member for Education, said: "The Labour administration has been clear all along that we wanted Harris, not Chapel Street, to run our new secondary school as they have a proven track record in Merton in the two schools they run and are highly-rated by Ofsted. We welcome Chapel Street's decision to focus on improving their existing schools and look forward to working with them on this."

Councilllor James Holmes, Education Spokesman for Merton Conservative Group, said: "It's very disappointing that Chapel Street will not build their secondary school here although hardly surprising following the strong opposition from Labour. That opposition has just cost us £40million in government funding which has gone with Chapel Street, a bill that all of us will now have to pick up through our taxes."

However Chapel Street's plans to move its primary free school, Park Community School, from Morden to the building on the corner of Dorset Road and Morden Road in Merton Park is going ahead.

Park Community School is holding a public drop-in session for people to see its proposals for the landmark building, known locally as the Trinitarian Bible Society building.

It will have architects, builders and school at its pre-planning public consultation meeting at the school's current location in Crown Lane, Morden, from 4pm-7pm on Wednesday February 4.

January 29, 2015

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