National Trust is latest to object to inner city academy's 'Eton of state sector' in West Sussex countryside
Body says site is not suitable for a school with more than 600 pupils
Richard Garner has been Education Editor of The Independent for 12 years and writing about the subject for 34 years. Before becoming a journalist, he worked as a disc jockey in London pubs and clubs and for a hospital radio station. His main hobbies are cricket (watching these days) and theatre. On his days off, he is most likelt to be found at Lord’s or the King’s Head Theatre Club.
Wednesday 24 April 2013
The National Trust has thrown its weight behind objections to a controversial plan to set up a state boarding school for inner city teenagers in the heart of the West Sussex countryside.
The Trust, which owns several properties in the neighbourhood of Stedham - where the school will be set up, says it does not believe the site chosen is “suitable” for a school with more than 600 pupils.
In its submission over the proposal, the Trust says the site is in a “sensitive” location with the South downs National Park which is “in a relatively isolated area which is served by a network of narrow country lanes”.
“The area is of high recreation and amenity value and is a peaceful and tranquil part of the National Park,” it adds.
It says a former school on the same site was on a far more limited scale, adding: “We do not believe the site is suitable for a school of some 600 pupils which necessitates such a large amount of new construction and which will inevitably generate significant levels of additional activity.”
The boarding blocks, it adds, will consist of six new three storey accommodation blocks. “The bulk, mass and height of the buildings is inappropriate and would result in the urbanisation of the site and a complete change to the character of the area,” it says.
The plan for the school, put forward by the Durand primary academy in Lambeth, south London, has to be approved by both the local council in Chichester and the South Down National Park as it is in an area of “outstanding” natural beauty.
Greg Martin, the head of Durand who is masterminding the project, has described it as giving an Eton-style experience to inner city youngsters. It has the enthusiastic support of Education Secretary Michael Gove whose department has earmarked a £17,3 million grant for the programme.
Villagers opposed to the scheme have already criticised the funding of the project - which is being examined by public spending watchdogs the National Audit Office to determine whether it gives value for taxpayers’ money.
Costa Concordia: Shipment of Mob drugs was hidden aboard cruise liner when it hit rocks off Italian coast, investigators say
Martha Stewart accuses Snoop Dogg of 'smoking for four hours' during Justin Bieber Roast
University of Cambridge: Remains of 1,300 scholars are found under building
Jeremy Clarkson 'could be given minder' ahead of a potential Top Gear return
Turkey power cut: Prime Minister says nationwide blackout could be caused by terrorists
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
Street preacher quoting from the Bible fined for calling homosexuality an 'abomination'
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans
Revealed: Putin's army of pro-Kremlin bloggers
- 1 Tidal launch: The most pretentious lines from Alicia Keys' valedictory speech
- 2 Trevor Noah: Jon Stewart's replacement faces online criticism over 'anti-Semitic' tweets
- 3 Martha Stewart accuses Snoop Dogg of 'smoking for four hours' during Justin Bieber Roast
- 4 Gamers confess the worst things they've done in The Sims
- 5 Syrian child photographed 'surrendering to camera because she thought it was a gun'
£25,880 – £28,610 per annum: Imperial College London: Imperial College London ...
£26,976 - £31,614 per annum: University College London: UCL Information Servic...
£30 - 32k (DOE): Guru Careers: We are seeking an Instructional / e-Learning De...
£30500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Schools Education & Careers Executive ...