New Site Updates
OCTOBER 2017 UPDATE
We are pleased to say that the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA), who are in charge of the process of sorting out our school building, have appointed a completely new team to work with us on the plans for the old Police Station. Andrew Burns is the person in charge and will work on the project all the way through to completion. Satellite Architects (www.satellitearchitects.com), who have lots of experience designing schools and working with historic buildings have been appointed to lead the design team. This is different to last time, when the process was led by a building contractor, and reflects the high sensitivities of working with a listed building. We met with the team this week and discussed the Abacus journey so far, the lessons learned and - most importantly - the way forward. We are pleased to say that the process will be significantly different this time, with very high levels of consultation and engagement with Abacus families and the surrounding community right from the very beginning. There will be parent workshops arranged in the very near future and lots of discussion with everyone at the start and throughout the design process.
JWC the current site
The children have been back at school for a whole half term now and have settled well in to their new classrooms. The work over the summer was completed on time and the new classrooms look great. The team that has been identified for the permanent site will also be working on the temporary site solution until the permanent site is ready. This means all engagement for parents, staff and the public will be with one team who understand the needs of the school and the complexities of the 2 sites. The solution for September 2018 is already being worked through and we will update parents as and when solutions are found.
As noted above, there is a new project team in place and everyone is very keen to learn lessons and to communicate clearly and openly all the way through. Mrs Briody is fully involved, despite being on Maternity Leave, so we have complete continuity representing the interests of Abacus. If you have any questions please get in touch with us, and we look forward to sharing lots more information in the coming weeks. We will introduce the architects and other members of the design team in person as the workshops and other events are set up.
Vicki Briody, Headteacher (maternity leave)
Stephanie Savvides-Howell, Acting Headteacher
Jonathan Kendall, Governor
SEPTEMBER 2017 UPDATE
Temporary site - Jubilee Waterside Centre
As many of you will know, we had contractors working over the summer to split the large reception classroom space into two separate classrooms for Reception and Year One. This included removal of various internal walls to make good, well laid out teaching spaces, and we were pleased that this was all completed in plenty of time ready for the start of term.
Permanent site - Hampstead Police Station
The Department for Education have confirmed their support for Abacus using the former Hampstead Police Station as our permanent school site, and doing so on the basis of us remaining at one form of entry (30 children per year) rather than the larger two form of entry size in the previous proposals. This responds to concerns from the London Borough of Camden about the need for school places in the area, and we know that we need to work very closely with them, and with neighbours to the building, as the new plans develop. A new consultant team are being appointed so that the project has a fresh start, and we have been told that meetings with the school will start next month (October). We hope that in next month's update we will be able to confirm the names of all the people involved, and - in particular - set out the dates when we can start to consult with everyone about the emerging proposals.
If you have any questions about our sites please let us know. Because the issues are very sensitive with neighbours, we want to make sure that everyone is kept informed and we are as open and clear as possible about what is happening.