Council steps in to help Turing House

Release Date: 05 October 2017

Richmond Council is stepping in to help find temporary accommodation for the popular Turing House School.

Turing House is a secondary free school run by the Russell Education Trust. It opened in September 2015 in temporary premises, at Livingston House, Queens Road, Teddington.

Its proposed permanent site in Whitton is likely to be ready for occupation in 2020. However, it will not have room at its current location to admit a further 150 pupils in September 2018.

In order to bridge the gap so that this very popular school can continue to run, the Council has stepped in to offer the use of a nearby school site, Clarendon School, in Hanworth Road, Hampton, subject to formal Council decision-making.

The current Clarendon site will be vacated in July 2018, when the new buildings which the Council is providing for Clarendon at the Richmond Education and Enterprise Campus in Twickenham, will be ready for occupation.

The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA), whose task it is to secure sites for free schools, will make some adaptations to the Clarendon buildings to make them suitable for Turing to use.

Cllr Susan Chappell, Strategic Cabinet Member for Children’s Services and Schools, added:

“We have long been a supporter of the establishment of Turing House and the demand from its parents for an excellent school – which the head Colin MacKinlay is striving to provide.

“But, I know that the negotiation between the ESFA and Hounslow Council has taken longer than expected and parents will be anxious. I am therefore delighted that we have been able to step in and offer this opportunity to keep this school going, growing and local.

“Whilst we have longer-term plans to sell the Clarendon site and raise some much-needed income, I’m very pleased that we have been able to give certainty for children and their parents and carers, both current and prospective, well ahead of the closing-date for 2018 entry applications on 31 October.”

Notes for editors

Turing House has 325 pupils on roll on its temporary site, Livingston House, at present, but will run out of room there in September 2018 when it will admit a further 150 pupils. For 2017 entry, the school received 724 applications.

The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) have bought the Hospital Bridge Road site from Hounslow Council and are likely to submit the planning application for the site in January 2018. If planning permission is granted, the ESFA’s contractors should then be able to start construction later in 2018 for a 2020 opening.

The Clarendon site is not large enough to be able to accommodate Turing House on a long-term basis.

The Council’s Cabinet will formally consider the proposal for Turing House to use the Clarendon site later this year.

If you are a journalist and would like further information about this press release, contact Elinor Firth on 020 8487 5159. 

Reference: P464/17

Updated: 20 October 2017