Parents often contact me with concerns about school places. There is considerable pressure on school places in Sutton because ourschools are so popular. So far Sutton has kept on top of demand, although unfortunately, this doesn’t mean parents always get their first preference of school. That is because the most popular schools are heavily over-subscribed.
Sutton Council is of course committed to providing sufficient high quality school places for all Sutton children. They have a clear preference for using sites that have already been built on but ultimately, due to the extremely limited availability of land in the Borough, greenfield sites sometimes have to be used. The council always listen to residents' views and concerns about the impact of school plans and seek to address those concerns while also meeting their statutory responsibility to make sufficient school places available for Sutton children.
Since Sutton Council reaffirmed its preference for the former Sutton Hospital site as the first site for a new secondary school, the Council has been actively engaging with the Department for Education, the Education Funding Agency (EFA), which provides the money to build schools, and others about options for developing a Free School in Sutton on that site; the EFA have confirmed to the Council that they would consider the site for a smaller secondary school as part of the next wave of free school applications. The Council is already aware of a number of interested providers who intend submitting applications to open a school on the hospital site at the next available opportunity.
This is positive news and I look forward to seeing plans being implemented in the future to ensure Sutton has the secondary schoolplaces it needs.