Turing House School opening will be deferred to next year
By Teddington People | Thursday, March 13, 2014, 13:39
Schools Minister Lord Nash this week announced his decision to delay the opening of Turing House School, a secondary school that will cover Twickenham and Teddington catchment areas. The school will now open in September 2015.
Turing House, a new secondary school sponsored by the Russell Education Trust, was due to open this September. However the Schools Minister this week delayed the opening due to uncertainty over where it would be based.
The new secondary, driven by a group of local parents and sponsored by the not-for-profit Russell Education Trust (RET), was due to open for the 2014 academic year and had been accepting applications for entry.
However, uncertainty surrounded where the school would be based. An application was made for it to be housed in the grounds of the National Physics Laboratories (NPL) in Teddington. However, in May last year, NPL announced the building was earmarked to build a new laboratory as part of a £25m investment.
In an email sent out to parents and supporters, Headteacher Colin Mackinlay and Karen Lynch, Chief Executive of RET said: "We have made the Minister aware of the exceptionally high level of parental demand for Turing House. He is also very aware of RET's strong track record in opening high quality schools and has confirmed his department’s continuing commitment to work with us to deliver the school next year. Nevertheless, Lord Nash believes the risks of opening in temporary accommodation before the permanent site is secure are too high.
"We do realise that this will be of little comfort to those who had wanted us to be there for their children this year and we wrote to them yesterday to let them know. This is also a huge disappointment for RET and for our local parent steering group who have now been working together for over two years to open the school. We know from your correspondence with us that Turing House is greatly wanted and needed by the local community this year and we are deeply sorry that this has not proved possible."
The Department for Education will now continue to explore existing options so the school will open in 2015.
A parents’ meeting will be held on 25th March 2014 at 7.30pm at the Clarendon Hall in York House.