Westminster City Council’s multi-million pound upgrades to St George’s Catholic School are running on time and on track to offer more student places in 2018.
The ‘Outstanding’ secondary school in Maida Vale will provide an additional 30 new places for students for the 2018-19 school year, after the works are completed mid-2018.
The popularity of St George’s has meant demand for student places has outstripped availability in recent years. Without the expansion works, the school’s projected pupil population was tipped to exceed available placements by 270 in 2018-19, for years 7-11.
The St George’s project includes building 11 new classrooms and the construction of a new rooftop recreational area for students, with the installation of photovoltaic cells across 140sqm of the roof space that will provide solar power and reduce the school’s carbon footprint. The rooftops will also be covered by a unique canopy that protects students from the elements but keeps the environment as an outdoor setting.
Councillor Richard Holloway, Cabinet Member for Children, Families and Young People said:
“The number of children requiring secondary school places in Westminster is projected to rise by 800 over the next five years. These ambitious expansion plans will provide the additional school places needed to meet the growing demand for Westminster schools. With over 90% of Westminster schools rated Good or Outstanding by Ofsted, there is no better time for the Council to be ensuring that more children get the best start in life.”
Mr Martin Tissot, Executive Headteacher of St George’s School said:
“We have been delighted with the efforts of Westminster Council, 3BM (the architects) and ARJ (the contractors) to understand our needs and construct an extension that meets our aspirations and fits seamlessly with our existing design.”
St George’s is also opposite the site of a new development that will replace the Maida Centre and create new homes and a revitalised youth and community centre.
The Council’s secondary schools expansion project will upgrade several schools across the borough in the next three years, which will enable Westminster schools to collectively offer more than 100 extra places for students per year group, or around 600 overall.
The upgrades at St George’s follow the expansion of Westminster City Boys School in Victoria, which is already offering 20 more places and will open its new building early in 2018. Westminster City Boys School has also consistently received more applications for student placements than there were spaces available in recent years.
The expansion programme is funded by Government grant, as well as Section 106 agreements with developers towards the costs of essential infrastructure in the City.