Visitors to Hampton Online may be interested in a proposal from St Mary's Church to open a Church Free School at The Oldfield Centre, Oldfield Road.

The proposal promises:

- dedication to ensuring that children of all abilities reach their full potential

- commitment to educational excellence

- a small school where every child is known and valued

- Christian ethos, but without regard to religious affiliation or church attendance

- emphasis on the arts

- teaching guided by the National Curriculum

- no fees

The one form entry (30 places) school would be sponsored by the London Diocese Board for Schools which supports 149 schoold in London - 6 in the Borough of Richmond such as St Mary's and St Peter's in Teddington.

Priority admission would be allocated to those who live in, or south of, Oldfield Road/Station Road, without regard to religious affiliation or church attendance. Expressions of intention from parents who have children who would like to be enrolled in reception in 2013 and 2014 will be collected.

There will be two open days to which all are welcome: Thursday 12 January at 9.15am-12.15pm and Saturday 14 January from 9.15am-12.15pm. These will be drop-in sessions with short presentations every hour at a quarter to the hour.

Further details are available at:

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Yes there will be a need for secondary schools in the borough, and yes there is at present one secondary school in Hampton: 

  • the borough is the focus of a number of school proposals from the RC school in Twickenham to the 5+ Free School proposals that are mooted. It is quite likely in my view that there will be over-provision in the future.
  • pupils are expected to travel further for secondary education so a choice of secondary school in Hampton would be a luxury
  • I have looked at the Google maps to check the relative size of the sites. I am would estimate that when the Hampton Junior School field is taken out of the reckoning the Oldfield Site is smaller or (perhaps of equal size) than Hampton Academy site. 
  • our church's expertise is mainly primary - to start a school from scratch requires a great deal of time and experience, we are better placed to resource just a primary school. We were also put off from considering secondary because of the need to have a wide range of choices and therefore a  larger school than we thought the site could bear. (I realise that the Marharishi School have considered carefully (and revised) their offer - I am just saying that's what we thought as we started off.) We also thought the building work needed to be done would be very much more complex. 

At the end of the day - what we are proposing re secondary / primary  is the simply best proposal we could make. 

Derek .

So you are saying the Church is only experienced in primary. Maharishi can do both, so why not you? Why should pupils be expected to travel further? Surely it's better to keep it local. That way we would not have so much heavy traffic and save on the environment at the same time. Less vehicles on the road would be less emissions.


1. Re our experience. Putting together the bid documentation is very demanding. Our form is now about 70 pages, with a dozen appendices. The level of detail (that is quite rightly) expected is very deep. I suppose there will be some educational providers who will roll out identikit applications in every region of the country  (I am NOT thinking about the Maharish here, they must be drafting in help to write this application for Hampton which is a little different from their first school) - but we are crafting a local school - so although there can be some cut and pasting - every answer has been written for Hampton. Quite simply we - the local church- does not have the expertise to draw up curriculum, policies, etc etc for secondary education. But we do have a good number of primary educationalists - that is where we are very strong. 

2. I see that there might be an environmental attraction to less travelling to school. But if one carries that argument all the way every child would go to their nearest school primary or secondary, with neglible choice... In reality there is a balance between choice and location. It is a fact that secondary school children will travel further - there will always be fewer secondary schools, so journey times necessariy increase. In this part of London there are perhaps 10 secondary schools that young people travel to.  

I appreciate the attraction of alternatives to the existing schools. It is just that I think there is a greater need for a primary school and St Mary's can help with that, but a secondary school would be a much more of a stretch. 

Derek Winterburn 

Marc Lewis said:

So you are saying the Church is only experienced in primary. Maharishi can do both, so why not you? Why should pupils be expected to travel further? Surely it's better to keep it local. That way we would not have so much heavy traffic and save on the environment at the same time. Less vehicles on the road would be less emissions.

Hi all,

Just a point of clarification on the need for a Secondary School.

Some people have said that the Council have indicated that there will be no shortage of secondary places, while others have said that the Council will be facing an acute shortage of secondary places, especially Hampton - so who is right?

The reality is that both are right. Here's why:

1) There really WILL be a very big shortfall in secondary places as evidenced by the Council report last year:

“as primary places continue to rise, those cohorts will feed through from 2016 and 2017 to create Year 7 numbers well in excess of 1,600. It will therefore be necessary to give consideration to increasing the admission numbers in the secondary sector significantly... Also, the commitment to provide sixth forms in secondary schools requires a reduction in other year groups to free up classroom space for post-16 provision...Therefore, it has been anticipated that two secondary schools will be needed by about 2015 to meet the demand for places.”

2) However the Council has perfectly reasonable plans in place to cater for this shortfall:

Appendix 1 of the 'Education and Children's Overview Security Committee Report dated November 2011" indicates that there are many solutions they are implementing, but these solutions INCLUDE 100 free school secondary places.

So in summary, there is a massive shortfall of Secondary places however the Council have plans in place to manage the shortfall but these plans include 100 free school secondary places.

Thanks Richard - that's helpful. 

Derek Winterburn 

When the Nurserylands was being discussed it was stated there would be provision in Oak Avenue for an Infant school as most people moving onto it would be young couples.  What happened to this promise?  The same as happened to the Ice Rink in Twickenham and the Pavilion on Hampton Green!  The problem perhaps wouldn't exist now for the children in the South of Hampton!  A local school for local children is what is needed. The same should be for our secondary students.  

Hi Jane,

I stopped believing Councillors after they solemnly promised in 1978 to rebuild the famous Richmond Rink, then reneged on their promises. Over the years, nothing has happend to make me change my mind (Recently Tangly Hall comes to mind). The late Richard Meacock made Richmond Council's life a misery by his campaigning to re build a new Ice Rink and reminding them of their unfulfilled promises. Thank goodness a change of Council saved Twickenham Riverside. Not that I am a supporter of the Conservative Party. I always voted for Screaming Lord Sutch and The Monster Raving Loony Party. I am sure they would not have deen any worse  than the last or present lot !!! Regards. Bryan.

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