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Council says no to Harris Beckenham Primary School opening in September

24 July, 2014

This week about 60 local parents were informed that the primary school place offered to their 4 year olds starting this September were no longer available as the planning committee of Bromley Council rejected Harris Federation's plans for some new building work to house the new cohort.

It's meant confusion, anger and misery for the families, many of whom were going on holiday and even buying the school uniform and are now thrown into limbo.

Covered both in the media Evening Standard and ITV London News, with more to come there is now also a Facebook page - Save Harris Primary Beckenham - Bromley said "No" https://www.faceb...

The council said it will help resolve the places, but parents are calling on Mayor of London Boris Johnson and local MPs in the area to immediately step in and reverse the planning decision.

If you know of someone this might affect please pass them this page and ask them to Like and visit the Facebook page for all the latest news.

The planning decision is based on pretty poor reasons considering this area of the Bromley borough is lacking enough primary school places and Bromley Council had asked Balgowan, already over full, to take on a bulge class, which it is and that's far older and less equipped than Harris Beckenham.

And here's the TV from last night

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Daily Mail steams in today -

'Shambolic' council grants 60 places to children at new school… only for its own councillors to deny the building planning permission SIX WEEKS before it's due to open

  • School set to be built along exclusive residential street in SE London
  • Council awarded places to families then blocked school from being built
  • Parents may not learn where children will go to school until September

Read more: 
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

These are the six councilors that voted against - a mix of Tory and Labour

Russell Mellor - Conservative, Copers Cope (POSSIBLY IN CATCHMENT AREA)

Michael Turner - Conservative, Plaistow & Sundridge

Simon Fawthrop - Conservative, Petts Wood & Knoll

Peter Dean - Conservative, Kelsey & Eden Park (IN CATCHMENT AREA)

Samaris Huntington-Thresher - Conservative, Chelsfield & Pratts Bottom

Melanie Stevens - Conservative, Biggin Hill

Vanessa Allen- Labour, Clock House (IN CATCHMENT AREA)

All declined to respond to a MailOnline request for comment.

The Bromley Councillor 'Portfolio Holder for Education' is Stephen Wells, Conservative, Copers Cope,

Parent outrage as Bromley Council committee decision on Beckenham Harris Primary Academy leaves their children without a school - NewsShopper coverage today

Banks protocol la
Unicorn school agrees additional places
Bromley Council has today agreed with the Unicorn School that it will take a further 30 pupils this September, following the decision at a Bromley Planning Committee last Thursday (17 July) not to approve consent for temporary classrooms at the new Harris Beckenham Primary school.

Harris considered taking the children into one or more of their other schools but decided on Tuesday of this week that this was not possible. The Council then put into place its contingency plan and approached the Unicorn school with a view to taking an additional 30 children. The school agreed this afternoon to take an additional class and places have been offered to 30 families this evening.

Harris offered 60 places in April but only just over 30 places were taken up. As of last Thursday, 30 children, therefore, were relying on places at Harris Beckenham. Some preparatory work had been put in place for this cohort, and this decision means that the group can remain together.

Cllr Stephen Wells, Executive Member for Education said, "I am very pleased that we have been able to resolve this issue in a speedy fashion and very much hope to the satisfaction of all the parents involved. I am particularly grateful to the Head Teacher and Chairman of Governors of the Unicorn School for their swift decision to accept these children."


For media enquiries, please contact Susie Clark in Corporate Communications, on 020 8461 7911 or email

Susie Clark
Corporate Communications | Chief Executive's
London Borough of Bromley
Tel: 020 8461 7911 | Mob: 07889 607080

I wonder what Unicorn parents think about that?

What incentives has the school received? Did you know Head's get more wages if they have a school that tips them into another bracket?

What do the local residents think about it who live around Unicorn?

Why should they put up with this when those on posh Manor Way can say no...?

Bromley Council you are trying to spin your way out of this and yet what you should do is just reverse the ruling. There is adequate, light, parking etc for those who live on Manor Way and there is already a school where kids come and go and make noise (which child doesn't!) and primary school kids are delightful. 

25 July

The Executive Director for Education will be using his powers to direct Unicorn to take 30 extra children under 3.23 Paragraph 3.9 of the School Admissions Code requires each local authority to have a Fair Access Protocol to ensure that, outside the normal admissions round, a place at a suitable school is secured quickly for unplaced children, especially the most vulnerable.

Thread rearranged to edit and remove errors.

Thank you Cllr Peter Dean, point noted and corrected. The post is removed, simple mistake over Way and Road. So why did the planning committee go against the advice of the education department and leave the parents high and dry?

Now you are here on this public community forum (and we'd love all our councillors to address issues here directly with their electorate and explain their actions all the time) there are plenty of parents who are out of pocket (buying school uniform etc) or in dismay at the handling of this and it is not only at Harris Federation's door this sits, so your comments would be greatly welcome. 

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