Hammersmith & FulhamNews

Primary school could be relocated due to ‘significant’ suitability issues

By Ben Lynch, Local Democracy Reporter

A primary school may be temporarily relocated due to “significant condition and suitability issues” – with council officers saying a full refurbishment “may not be technically possible”. 

Concerns have been raised in a council report that the move may impact future admissions at Hammersmith’s Flora Gardens Primary School, in Dalling Road, with some parents deciding not to move their children to the new site.

A Hammersmith and Fulham council spokeswoman said there has been “no impact” on admissions so far. 

The proposed new temporary home for the primary school is the former Lena Gardens Primary School site, in Lena Gardens – less than a mile from its current location. Lena Gardens closed in 2019.

According to council documents, a 2014 survey into Flora Gardens recommended a range of roof and window repairs. But, a later survey, in 2020, found the building would require “significant” works for the improvements to take place.

In the council report, officials wrote that “a complete refurbishment of Flora Gardens has not been fully costed, as the option is not viable”. They continue to note that it will likely be in the region of £1.5million to £2million, and “may not be technically possible”. 

Regardless, it is deemed to cost far more than refurbishing Lena Gardens, which requires works including asbestos and drainage surveys. 

If approved, the move is hoped to happen before or during the summer term, Flora Gardens wrote in a letter to parents, also published on the school’s website. 

In a submission included in the council documents from May 16, Richie Adeyeye, principal schools admission officer, warned communication with parents will need to be clear so they know their options if they do not wish to move their children. 

Most schools nearby have few spare spaces, he added, which may impact parents’ decisions.

He also wrote that the move may impact on future admissions for reception cohorts. 

He said: “The Authority should consider funding costs of unexpected uniform or transport costs for parents who feel they need to move school.”

In its letter to parents, the school wrote that it is exploring the idea of a walking bus, which would have stops along the route so children could join for the journey to Lena Gardens, and listed a range of benefits to the move, such as a dedicated lab room and a potting area. 

According to a 2022 Ofsted report, the school had 190 pupils on its school roll.

The school also clarified its team of teachers and support staff will all be moving with the pupils, and it’s hot school meals will still be provided.

If approved, the council will be contributing £200,000 in funds to assist with the move, £30,000 for relocation costs, and £170,000 to help support issues caused by the disruption, such as reduced pupil numbers.

A decision is due to be made by cabinet on December 4.

Pictured top: Flora Gardens Primary School may be moving to a new site on a temporary basis, due to “significant” issues with its current home (Picture: Ben Lynch)

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