Blackheath Bluecoat stays put – watch that back gate now

It looks as if Blackheath Bluecoat School won’t be moving to the Greenwich Peninsula after all, after the government axed the Building Schools for the Future programme which would have provided funds for the scheme. It’s another blow to dreams of getting a secondary school – or at least, someone else’s secondary school – in the Greenwich Millennium Village, after daft plans to move John Roan School to a site next to the Blackwall Tunnel approach road were thrown out by its governors last year. There had been talk of finding a more suitable site for Bluecoat – but it looks as if it will have to wait.

John Roan’s own cash – now directed at revamping its existing premises – is unaffected by the cuts, while new buildings for Crown Woods, Eltham and Thomas Tallis, Kidbrooke will at least be finished. But plans to redevelop Kidbrooke and Eltham Green schools have been canned. Greenwich Council’s handling of the BSF scheme has been roundly criticised – and it’s easy to jump to the conclusion that maybe the borough’s schools would be in a better shape if it hadn’t faffed around and wasted time on mad schemes like the John Roan one. Somehow, I’m reminded of my own dismal schooldays, caught between a pincer movement of Margaret Thatcher’s savagery on one side and an incompetent ILEA on the other.

None of Lewisham’s schools have been affected by the cuts – although some of those are PFI schemes, meaning they may return to haunt taxpayers another day – and nor have Bexley’s projects (see Emma’s comment below), with just one failing in Bromley.

Still, on the bright side, with Blackheath Bluecoat remaining in Old Dover Road, it means children will still be using its back gate, giving a pair of aspiring local politicians something to campaign on if they stand again in the next council election. I’m sure we can all celebrate that.

6 comments

  1. The reason Bexley’s school building plans haven’t been affected is that they shelved them all a few weeks before the election. My school was due one: the money was allocated, architects had submitted plans, and then it was pulled. Our building remains oficially ‘unfit for purpose’ but we will have no new school.

  2. […] For his part, Chris Roberts said the paper could not legally be political, revealing it was reviewed “line by line” by lawyers before publication. I wonder if those legal costs are included in the 3.5p/copy costs? Indeed, he said, that was why Greenwich Time did not feature the government’s cuts to the school building programme. […]

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