Pope John School Gets Go Ahead to Expand

White City's Fatima Centre will also be replaced

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A popular White City school will be given a £4.5million transformation after being granted planning permission to expand.

Plans for Pope John Catholic Primary School in Commonwealth Avenue were approved by Hammersmith & Fulham Council’s Planning Applications Committee on Wednesday July 31.

The current school building, along with the former Fatima Parish Centre, which has been empty since May and is next to the school, will re-built.

There will be an improved main school building and a new two-storey building for use as extra classrooms, a nursery and meeting rooms. 

A new multi-use games area will also be created and the former school hall will be converted into a replacement Fatima Parish Centre.

Image of Pope John School

This extensive redevelopment, funded through the council’s schools capital programme, allows Pope John to expand to become a two-form entry primary school and it is hoped that the extra class will provided as early as September 2014. This will create an extra 30 primary school places each year in an area of high demand under the council’s Schools of Choice programme.

The popular school, which is one of only two Catholic faith schools in the north of the borough – the other being Good Shepherd – is currently oversubscribed and accommodates a ‘bulge’ year of 30 children, as well as a 30-place nursery class.

For the last two years, there have been more than four applications for every available place at Pope John, with the school receiving 118 applications for just 30 places in 2012/13, and 112 the year before.

The expansion means that the school will permanently have two classes for each year, with places across the school doubling – eventually growing from its current 210 places (excluding the bulge year) to 420. This would mean an extra 17 members of staff would be needed.

The council says wherever possible, users of the Fatima Parish Centre will be able to use the school hall while the new centre is under construction and it is hoped the community will have full access to the facilities once they are complete.

These include a breakfast club, after-school services, learning programmes for both parents and people living in the local community, and a new sports court.

For more information on the application and to see the plans, visit the council's planning pages and search for the application reference 2013/00643/FUL.



August 2, 2013

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