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Our Future School

OCTOBER 2017 UPDATE

Permanent site

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.

Contact details

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.

 

SEPTEMBER 2016 SITE UPDATE:

Although the news in July was disappointing we were heartened to receive the message that the local councillors were happy for us to be located in Hampstead Police station.

We are in the process of redesigning and will be consulting with the general public in the coming weeks once our design plans have been finalised.

Once we have reached that stage, our design options will be shared on our website and in public meetings.

We are fully supported as one form entry school in this area and we are exploring these options with the EFA.

We would like to thank current and prospective parents for the interest shown in Abacus.


The Education Funding Agency (“EFA”) has completed the purchase of the old Hampstead Police Station, just a little further up the road on Rosslyn Hill, as Abacus’s permanent home!

It is a truly beautiful, complicated, rabbit warren of a building and we are humbled that it has been made available to our school. It is grade II listed which means it will need careful conversion and preservation to turn it into a school. It will retain the beautiful façade you can see from both sides and be newly built behind that. The size of the building means that Abacus will be able to increase its numbers and eventually offer two classes per year group.  
The conversion will take time and so it will be 2018 before we are able to move in. In the meantime we currently reside in our wonderful, temporary home on Camley Street.

School Buses

Whilst we are located in Camley Street, we are offering a bus service every morning and afternoon. Currently, we offer 2 pick up locations in catchment locations (Belsize Park Library, Antrim gardens and the Swiss Cottage Leisure Centre in Swiss cottage) which opens from 8am each morning as a drop off facility for parents. Children are supervised by Abacus staff at these locations and the school bus service collects from here and transports children to the new school site on Camley Street. These buses are staffed by Abacus.

Each class teacher is in catchment once a week to allow parents to talk on a regular basis about student progress. The Headteacher and Assistant Head are also in catchment 1 or 2 times a week to meet and talk.

The bus service is offered free of charge and is a booked service with some flexibility for families who would like to bring their child to school themselves.