John Roan School: residents views ignored

Blackheath Westcombe Councillor Alex Wilson last night submitted a motion to Greenwich Council asking for the council to try and come up with a better solution for the future of the John Roan School.

 Sadly his views and those of over 500 people who have signed a petition were ignored by the Labour and Lib Dem council members who believe that a four story building with a playground on the roof will be able to provide adequate education facilities to around 1600 pupils, this despite the building not conforming to the government’s own educational space standards.

Members of the John Roan Campaign met with Cllr Wilson after the failed motion. Cllr Wilson said, “There is no such thing as economics of scale with education. It is important that facilities are provided for pupils to learn in a clean and spacious environment and these plans do not allow for that, we must stop this process before it resigns future generations of children to a poor educational environment.”

Other Conservative councillors spoke out against the plans to build a school on the Peninsula site which would be next to the Gas holder. Cllr Dermot Poston who seconded the motion spoke about how a split site school can work and how the environment is an important issue when decided the location of a school. Cllr Elizabeth Truss raised the issue that schools with large numbers of pupils often have more trouble providing adequate education to its pupils.

If you would like to sign the John Roan Campaign's petition then go to their website:

The full text of the motion presented to council and voted down by Labour and Liberal Democrat councillors reads:

"This Council recognises the hard work of the teachers at the John Roan School and the long standing achievements of the John Roan Foundation in maintaining educational standards in Greenwich. 
This Council notes too the campaign to oppose the planned move of the school to the Peninsula, a campaign which has resulted in a petition of over 500 objectors and a huge number of individual letters of opposition. This Council agrees with the John Roan petitioners that a new school on the Peninsula site cannot be fit for purpose. As well as other considerations, the Peninsula site does not meet the minimum space requirement of the Department for Education (BB98) for schools. 
This Council believes that the first essential requirement for the development of a new school should be a safe and healthy site of sufficient size for the number of pupils planned for it."