Top grammar school plans to build comprehensive for Sutton, Croydon and Epsom pupils
A top grammar school is planning to build a comprehensive school to serve pupils from Sutton, Surrey and Croydon.
Jonathan Wilden, headteacher of WCGS, said the plan for the site is to build a school but to retain the sports club so the school can use the facilities to promote the benefits of participation in sport while allowing the public to use is in the evenings and weekends.
The scheme is one of two plans WCGS is exploring. The other is to build a new school in south Croydon to alleviate a growing school places crisis in the area. Talks have already opened between the school and Croydon Council with the aim of finding a site.
The proposed site near Woodmansterne
Mr Wilden said: "We're applying to the Department for Education for permission to build a free school, an 11 to 18 comprehensive school.
"It will not be an expansion of this school it will be a non-selective school that will be totally separate but within the Wallington County Grammar School Federation.
"We are talking to Croydon because there is a worse issue regarding school places there than in Sutton. We are looking with Croydon [Council] to see if a site could be available.
"The other option is the Walcountians Sports Club. Because of its location, that would draw people Clockhouse, which is a part of Sutton, as well as Surrey and Croydon.
"It would not replace the sports club. My vision is a school that promotes the importance of sport, that participation in sport will help their academic results and that learning to win and learning to lose is a part of the academic experience.
"Educationally, WCGS is one of the best grammar schools around and we have the know-how to make a fantastic comprehensive school."
Mr Wilden said he hopes the school can be built by 2017 although admitted there are many hurdles to get over before any work can start, including the fact that Walcountians Sports Club site is classed as greenbelt land, meaning development is prohibited except in special circumstances.
WCGS plans to launch a formal public consultation on the plans in May.
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