Turing House

Permanent Site Information

The Education & Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) has successfully secured a permanent site for Turing House School on Hospital Bridge Road in Whitton. It is a large (approximately 6.5 hectare) greenfield site with more than enough space for the new school facilities that will, subject to planning permission, be built there. The timing of our move to Hospital Bridge Road is subject to the planning process, and is anticipated to be during the 2020/21 academic year. In the meantime, we will continue to grow the school in high quality accommodation in Teddington & Hampton

September 2019 update: Richmond Council’s Planning Committee approved the planning application for our permanent home at a special planning meeting on July 10th.  As the site is on Metropolitan Open Land that decision now needs to be referred back to the London Mayor for review. Our project team have been working with local planning officers and the Department for Education to prepare the paperwork for the referral, and once it has been submitted and validated the Mayor will respond within 14 days. We will update this page when that happens.

For more information about the plans, please visit the project website: A New Home for Turing House School.  

How was the permanent site decided?

We all know land is in short supply in our area, and expensive to obtain. We have published details of some of our past site preferences, and why they were ruled out. In addition to these we proposed several other local sites to the Education Funding Agency for investigation and suggestions were also made by Richmond Council and members of the local community.  

Having considered the options, the EFA progressed the purchase of the Hospital Bridge Road site in consultation with Richmond and Hounslow Local Authorities. It is within reasonable distance of our central admissions point, and is large enough to accommodate not only a brand new school building and sports facilities but also outdoor playing fields, hard surface courts and recreation areas.

Why weren't you able to publish more detail about the process for securing a permanent site at the time?

All of the site information we published needed to be approved by the ESFA. They are very cautious about releasing details because commercial negotiations must be kept confidential. Leaked information can increase competition for sites or cause sensitive discussions to break down. It can also cause unnecessary distress to neighbours of sites if partial information can't be confirmed until negotiations have sufficiently progressed.  However, we also recognise that lack of information can be frustrating too, so we have always published whatever we can.

When will local residents be consulted on the plans?

Our pre-planning consultation took place in July 2018 and the formal planning consultation opened in December 2018, please visit the project website for further details: A New Home for Turing House School

Will it be difficult to get Planning Permission?

Obtaining planning permission can be a lengthy process.  However, national and regional planning frameworks are strongly supportive of the establishment of new schools.

The National Planning Policy Framework requires local planning authorities to take a proactive, positive and collaborative approach to ensuring that a sufficient choice of school places is available to meet local needs.

The current London Plan states that proposals for new schools should be considered positively, and only refused where any negative local impacts that can't be addressed through planning conditions or obligations substantially outweigh the desirability of establishing the school.

Can schools be established on Metropolitan Open Land?

There have been cases of schools built on Metropolitan Open Land (MOL), but only when it is the only viable option. The Education Funding Agency has a responsibility to rule out all other potential options before progressing planning applications on MOL, and this information forms part of the planning application.

Schools do need to go somewhere, and where there are no easy options, difficult options need to be pursued instead, albeit with proper local consultation.

Will there be benefits to compensate for the loss of open space?

Schools bring huge benefit, not only to the families that use them, but to the wider community that gains access to their facilities.  Many schools act as low cost community and sports centres outside of the standard school day. 

Conversion of open land for school use can therefore be an opportunity to enhance recreational provision, especially when the land was not previously accessible to the public as in this case. 

Has Turing House been established to serve Whitton and Heathfield?

Yes! The school was established to serve the Middlesex side of Richmond Borough, and Whitton and Heathfield are very much a part of that.  Many Turing House families already come from this area (see our ward data here) and they are highly valued members of our school community.

When we began our marketing campaign for a new school back in 2011 we sent information to all of the borough's primary schools, including those in Whitton/Heathfield.  Our supporters also stood outside local primary schools and handed out leaflets.

Our site search has  always included Whitton and Heathfield in its boundaries, and other sites in those wards were looked at by the Education Funding Agency.

 I have heard that 80% of Turing House students will be from Teddington, is that true?

No, that is a misinterpretation of the admissions policy.

Turing House has been established to serve the Middlesex side of Richmond borough as a whole, not Teddington specifically.  The school opened in Teddington because a building was available there, but currently less than 7% of our students are from Teddington.

We have an Admissions Point on the Fulwell/Teddington border, because that is as far as it is possible to be from other co-educational secondaries.  It is a fair and appropriate anchor for serving local need, but demand for good school places is borough-wide, and includes the area around the proposed permanent site in Heathfield/Whitton. We are therefore committed to striking an appropriate balance in serving both locations, and the area in-between.

Our current oversubscription criteria prioritise places by distance from both the Admissions Point and the proposed permanent site at a ratio of 80%:20%.  However this certainly doesn't mean that 80% of the students are from Fulwell/Teddington - our students are distributed across several ward areas.

Our allocation maps  show that Turing House is successfully serving the demand from Heathfield and Whitton whilst still enabling families to gain access to Turing House from several other wards across the Middlesex side of the borough.

We continuously monitor our admissions to ensure that our policy serves the local need and demand appropriately, and the report on our most recent admissions consultation can be found here.

Will students have long journeys to school?

Not especially. Most secondary schools serve a geographically widespread area, with the average distance traveled by London secondary students being 3.1 miles.

In contrast, our 2016 cohort (for example) would need to travel an average of just 1.6 miles to get to Hospital Bridge Road, and our recent Student Travel Survey shows that average journey times are likely to decrease when the school is permanently re-located.

Secondary school students tend to travel independently and families take journey times and conditions into account when selecting their admissions preferences, balancing them against other factors.

Our Admissions Point prioritises families that live furthest from other co-educational community schools, so students from that central area would have to travel comparable distances to other co-ed schools too – not just to Turing House. 

How will transport links be managed? 

Many of our students live within easy walking distance of the proposed site, and most of the others are likely to use public transport.  See our Student Travel Survey for details.

Hospital Bridge Road is served by several bus routes (481, H22, 110, 111) and is 8 minutes’ walk from Whitton station. It is also a short, safe walk or cycle ride from West Twickenham via the A316 underpass or bridges

Our project team have been meeting with Transport for London about improvements to bus services and infrastructure and our school travel plan will be fully considered as part of the planning process.

How often do you review your admissions policy?

Like all state schools we review and determine our admissions policy annually in line with the statutory timetable set out in the national Schools Admissions Code.

Our Local Governing Body closely monitors admissions patterns to ensure that our policy is meeting its objectives. When changes are needed they will be put out to public consultation in line with the Code.  Consultation on proposed policy changes are required to be undertaken 18 months ahead of any new policy coming into practice.

To be notified of future admissions consultations, please join our Mailing List.

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