What will be the effect of Turing House on other Secondary Schools in our area?
As described on our Local Need page, Turing House fulfils both a demand need and a capacity need. The Local Authority have planned for Free Schools to help with future provision.
Whenever a new school opens, there are changes in local patterns of demand. However, the majority of Richmond’s excellent secondaries are highly oversubscribed and that is unlikely to change while their quality remains high.
There are two community academies on the Middlesex side of the borough which have historically been under capacity. However, council forecasts have indicated that they too are expected to fill over time as a result of rising numbers of children transferring to secondary school and ongoing quality improvement initiatives.
We know that there are more than enough families in the area to fill up all of the existing schools and the recently established schools too. We believe our area deserves a secondary system where quality is high across the board so that, for those pupils lucky enough to have a choice, schools 'compete' only on the distinctiveness of their ethos. Above all, we are committed to making a positive contribution to the local family of schools.
How does the establishment of RTS impact Turing House?
Richmond Council has sponsored the 2017 opening of a new free school, the Richmond Upon Thames School (RTS), in partnership with Richmond College, Haymarket Publishing Ltd and Harlequins Rugby Club.
When those plans were approved some people were concerned that they might impact the establishment of Turing House, but there was no reason why it should have done so.
As evidenced in their free school application, RTS is needed in addition to Turing House, due to the huge bulge of children coming through the primary system. The Local Authority's 2011 admissions forecast assumed that there would be a secondary free school opening before that time, and Turing House fulfilled that expectation.
Quoting from the consultation document, published in March: "The Council’s forecast, taking into account as far as it can, the likely establishment of further free schools, suggests that further significant provision may be needed by September 2017". The project's website says: "We believe that by September 2017, there will be enough local children transferring into Year Six to fill Turing House and all the current schools, so another Secondary School based on the College site would meet the need for additional places at that point."
For more information on the demand for additional secondary school places, see our Local Need page.
Is it unusual for a school to have an admissions point at a location other than at the school itself?
Ideally schools will be established in areas where demand is high. However, in densely populated areas, where land is at a premium, that isn't always possible. As well as Turing House, two of RET's other schools have retained Admissions Points in the areas that their proposals were intended to serve, because they were unable to obtain a site in the immediate vicinity.
Paragraph 1.14 of the Admissions Code, permits the use of Catchment Areas provided they are reasonable and clearly defined. Another local secondary school, Waldegrave, has a defined catchment area in a location that is different to the school.
An Admissions Point is a means of defining the "centre of gravity" of a Catchment Area, without defining its outer boundary. We think this method of defining a catchment area reduces confusion. With a more traditional catchment area parents often wrongly assume that living within the boundary guarantees them a place, or that living outside of it prevents them from applying, neither of which is true.
Admissions Points (sometimes called Nodal Points) are becoming more common. Some schools, especially those intended to serve a wide area, are using transport hubs, such as train stations, as admissions points.