Deer Park School was opened in September 2015 and is expected to move into their new, permanent, building in September 2019.
It has been used in the national press as an example of Free Schools who have waited over three years to be in their permanent building – there is a lot more to this journey.
Deer Park’s Journey to the preferred location
When Deer Park School was in the planning to open, Bellevue Place Education Trust, who maintain the school and the Local Authority were very keen that this new school be situated in East Twickenham/ St. Margarets area, as it is a ‘black spot’ for primary school places in this area. Parents were very supportive and the Local Authority have been excellent, in providing places in an area they have long been aware has a shortage.
However, with London being so tight on available land, a site could not be found in this area initially. Parents supported a push from the council, in discussions with Lidl who owned a sizable site in the ideal area and had planning rejected twice with residential and a hotel proposal.
Agreement was reached with Lidl to look at the school being situated on the same site. Plans were submitted for the school to be situated over the car park and Lidl store that will be an excellent use of land in a congested part of London. The planning permission application received unanimous approval from Richmond’s planning committee in April 2016 and building work began in July 2018.
Parents and the school have been patient for these plans to be developed and approved, with construction well underway for a September 2020 move in date.
With the support of the Department for Education and their excellent project team, Deer Park School’s journey to be situation in the ideal area for London has moved forward well. In the mean time, the temporary site for the school has continued to be good, expanding every year, meeting the needs to provide a great education offer.
Deer Park School achieved an Outstanding rating by OfSTED in July 2018, demonstrating that a high quality provision can continue while permanent buildings are being developed. Parents are grateful for the provision, which remains very popular with 293 application for 60 places for this years Reception cohort (September 2019).
Deer Park School looks forward to move into this excellent mix-use facility shortly.