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Jan 20 2014

Whitchurch Fields – A Potential site for Avanti House School

harrow_council_logo2Avanti Schools Trust has announced that Whitchurch Playing Fields has been identified as a potential site for the Avanti House secondary school. Avanti House is an all-through school with both primary and secondary provision. The school is the only state-funded Hindu secondary school in the country.

Less than two miles from Avanti’s two other Harrow sites, the site is described by the Trust as “perfectly situated” to the core school community.

The current Avanti House site on Common Road would continue as the permanent home for the primary section of the all-through school. The secondary portion of the school would move to the new site. The new site would accommodate 1,260 students after reaching full capacity.

Harrow Council Leader, Councillor Susan Hall, informed Avanti that a feasibility study would now commence for the site at Whitchurch Playing Fields. That feasibility study, to be undertaken by the Education Funding Agency, could in turn lead to a planning application and a school on the site in January 2016.

Councillor Hall, said: “There is a pressing need for more school places in Harrow* and a lack of suitable land for development. We have worked closely with the Avanti Schools Trust who already have a strong and indeed unique track record in Harrow serving our significant Hindu Community. Harrow Council was of course a key partner in delivering the Krishna Avanti Primary School in 2008.

“We have a duty to look at the Whitchurch site again in view of the educational use of the land that came to light during the issues over possible use as a village green, and the development option put forward by the Whitchurch consortium. We appreciate the consortium has put significant effort into its proposals.

This feasibility study comes as Harrow embarks on a new phase of its schools expansion programme. We remain keen to talk to organisations who may have an interest in running Free Schools.”

Principal Gareth Jones, said: “This is an extremely attractive site and ideally located. We are looking forward to the opportunity to develop it as a school and as a wonderful resource for the community. We do of course recognise that this is just the beginning of the process and that everything depends on the outcome of the feasibility study. However, this will come as very welcome news to our students, to our loyal parents and to the pupils in more than sixty schools in the area who have expressed an interest in joining us in September 2014.”

Avanti Schools Trust Chief Executive Nitesh Gor, said: “We are very grateful to the Council, and specifically to Councillor Susan Hall for making our school a priority. We have struggled in the past to identify a viable site and it is refreshing to see such political support for the project. We know that Harrow residents value our schools and it is good to see that this is being recognised by the Council.”

Meanwhile, despite the uncertainty over the future location of the school, existing parents and staff continue to give it outstanding reviews with progress in all subjects, especially maths, running well ahead of the national average. The school has specialisms in mathematics and performing arts

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1 comment

  1. livearound

    Good move Cllr Susan!

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