WHITEHALL PARK SCHOOL AGREES TEMPORARY NEW HOME
We are delighted to announce to our parents and families that there is now a firm plan in place in terms of a solution to the current issues surrounding a site for our school in September. After many discussions and the exceptional hard work of colleagues across Bellevue Place Education Trust, the Education Funding Agency and the Local Authority, we are pleased to be able to share the news with you that Whitehall Park School will move to a new site for the Autumn term.
As is sometimes the case with building programmes, we have experienced a number of delays with achieving the proposed handover date for our new site, which was due to be September 2016. As you all know, the building programme to deliver new state-of-the-art facilities for the school is now advancing well and is on track to be completed by December 2016. Unfortunately, despite the best efforts of everyone involved and an enormous level of support and campaigning from our families, it was not possible for us to stay on the current site as Islington and Shoreditch Housing Association, who own the site, need to be able to start their housing building project within the coming weeks.
I would like to thank every family for all the hard work and effort you have put into trying to help us to find a solution to stay at our current site. As a school, we really appreciate everything that you have done to support us during this time of uncertainty. We really value everything you have tried to do and want to thank you for being so tremendously supportive and committed to our school.
As you know, there was a possibility that the school may have had to be moved onto the building site, which would have been an unsatisfactory solution for everyone involved and was causing us a great deal of concern. However, we have some exciting news from Mark Greatrex, Chief Executive of Bellevue Place Education Trust; “After pursing options for a number of temporary arrangement for Whitehall Park School in the Autumn term, we are delighted to announce that from September 2016 the school will be moving to Mount Carmel Catholic College for Girls. This is approximately half a mile from the school’s permanent location. It is with thanks to Mount Carmel and Islington Council that this has been achieved for the 180 pupils at Whitehall Park School next term, to learn in a safe and stimulating environment.”
We are absolutely thrilled that Mount Carmel have been so kind as to make this offer and we are very much looking forward to sharing their site from September. I would like to reassure our families that this is an incredible opportunity for our children and that their education, wellbeing and happiness will be paramount throughout this transition. We are working closely with our colleagues to ensure that the safeguarding of the children is a key priority and that all children will be safe on site.
We will be positioned within the Design and Technology block at Mount Carmel, in a self-contained area which will consist of 6 classrooms, offices, additional teaching spaces and toilets. The Education Funding Agency will be working with contractors during the summer break to re-purpose the space and create the rooms and areas that will be required to ensure that we can continue to provide the high quality educational and pastoral provision that is at the heart of all we do.
Being at Mount Carmel will also offer us a wealth of exciting opportunities as they have kindly said we can use their facilities, including hall, two gymnasiums, a drama suite and sports pitches, which will be absolutely incredible for our children. I am also sure that our children will benefit enormously from being on the same site as the older children, who I envisage will be keen to come and be involved with our children’s learning during the course of the term. We will also be working closely with our Mount Carmel colleagues to develop some joint projects between both schools and maybe even involving the Mount Carmel children with things such as the nativity and sporting activities! I am sure you will agree that the move ensures that Whitehall Park School has a safe and secure space with excellent facilities for its pupils in the Autumn term.
Nicole Haynes, Headteacher at Mount Carmel Catholic College for Girls tell us, “Our governors have welcomed the opportunity to support Whitehall Park School for this short period until their new building is ready and our girls are excited about sharing the school with the delightful primary pupils”.
The move has also been supported by Islington Council, Mark Taylor, its Director of Learning and Schools said “Faced with a very difficult situation for many Islington children and their families, we are pleased to have facilitated this temporary move, which is in the best interests of the school community as a whole.”
Our wonderful school has been well supported by our families and the wider community. Your fantastic support throughout the last two years will be rewarded shortly with the completion of our new building which will benefit not only all our children, but will bring fabulous opportunities for the local community in terms of facilities and provision.
I do hope you are as excited as we all are to be moving to Mount Carmel and will join me in thanking Nicole and her incredible team for enabling this to happen. We really appreciate everything that Mount Carmel and the wider team of the Local Authority, Bellevue Place Education Trust, the Westminster Diocese and the Education Funding Agency are doing to provide us with a school for September.
We will look forward to welcoming our Year 1 and 2 children to our new temporary site from the 13th September at 8.55am and our Reception children for their stay and play sessions later that week. Please do keep an eye on our website, Facebook page and Twitter for exciting updates throughout the summer, including images of the site and building progress and for more information regarding entrances to the school and drop-off collection points for families.