A message from Wren Academy re planning consultation for the permanent buildings for Wren Enfield

As you are probably aware we already have planning permission for the temporary buildings for Wren Academy Enfield on the Chase Farm Site.

We are now almost ready to make the application for the permanent buildings. Detailed designs have been drawn up for Wren Academy Enfield and a separate primary school, as well as outline designs for housing. This is a very exciting part of the process because it allows you to see what our buildings and the surrounding area will look like, and to comment on what you see, and this represents the formal consultation part of the planning process.

The Department for Education and the main contractor, Bowmer and Kirkland, have launched a public website today at www.chasefarmdevelopment.co.uk.

We would be very grateful if you could have a look at the website and share this with others in the community. We encourage you to review all of the material provided, ask the project team any questions and send your views via the feedback form by 7th May. It is really important for us to be able to demonstrate to Enfield planners that our community engagement has reached people, even in lockdown.

 Thank you for your time and your support.


Chase Farm A4 Poster FINAL HR5


Wren Academy Enfield – Make your view known

Parents have told me that they are delighted that planning permission for the temporary buildings to house the new Wren Academy Enfield on the Chase Farm site has been granted. They have shown their appreciation by overwhelmingly applying for their children to start in this brand new school and I know that the admissions for 2020 is oversubscribed.

It was disappointing to learn that two of the three Conservative councillors on Enfield’s Planning Committee chose to abstain and not support the brand new school; they were the only councillors to not support the application.

It is concerning that progress on the permanent school building is being impeded by Enfield’s Planning Officers. There is a risk to the future of our children’s education because of Council bureaucracy and we need all councillors from all parties supporting Wren Academy Enfield.

You can help by lobbying your three ward councillors individually to help get the school built. You can find your ward councillors here. Below are suggestions of what you could include in your email or letter:

  • let councillors know that you support the creation of a brand new school
  • ask councillors why there is a lack of progress on planning for the permanent school building
  • ask councillors what action they will take to support the school
  • ask for an update on progress
  • ask how the lack of secondary school places in Enfield will be addressed if this school does not go ahead

If we do not lobby the Council about the permanent school building there is a very real risk that this school will not open.

Learn more about the Wren Academy Enfield.


Bowes Southgate Green School Meeting

I attended a meeting at Bowes Southgate Green School on Thursday 18th July at the request of a parent because the school has been threatened with closure by Enfield local authority.

The new 1FE Bowes Southgate Green School opened in September 2014 following a campaign I initiated due to the lack of primary school places in the local area. Parents and the local community were delighted by the proposals for a new school on land adjacent to Grovelands Park set out by Gary Barnes, a council officer from Enfield back in 2013. The new school would open on a temporary site at Broomfield School until the Grovelands project, plans below, could commence following a site survey by English Heritage.

Five years after the school opened a Bowes Southgate Green mum tells me that she doesn’t know where her child’s brother will go to school as Enfield are threatening to close Bowes Southgate Green. Enfield’s Neil Best said at the meeting that Enfield local authority don’t have a site for the school and renewal of the lease for the temporary site with Broomfield School is not guaranteed. There will be annual reviews to determine the site status.

At the meeting an Enfield Education representative ridiculed the proposal of a school on the land adjacent to Grovelands Park, proposals that were put forward by themselves. What better environment for a school than next to a park with green space for children to explore and thrive in. It is certainly better use of the Enfield owned derelict land than to leave it for bad behaviour and drug related activities that currently take place.

The Enfield Council representative gave the impression that a school would have an adverse effect on the park, either she has not done her homework or was trying to stop debate before it started. The school could have been built on land adjacent to the park but the Council admitted at the meeting that because of their lack of commitment no progress was made. A new school would not impact on the current Grovelands Park boundaries and the project had the full support of the Friends of Grovelands Park group.

The meeting became very political with the Council implying that the process for funding a site limited them. I had to remind Enfield Local Authority that Ashmole Primary School, 2FE established in 2016 moved into brand new state of the art building in September 2018 following Government investment of £7.5mn, bringing investment and jobs into the local area. The school had been created because of the commitment of all of the stakeholders.

Ashmole Primary School is a free school that resides in London Borough of Barnet but due to its location on the Enfield border provides approximately 50% of its school places to Enfield children. The Enfield local authority is passing its responsibility for school places to other local authorities whilst expanding schools that are unpopular with parents in its own borough and threatening to shut down schools that are popular with parents.

Bambos Charalambous, MP for Enfield Southgate, refused to make any firm commitment to assist in resolving the issue and implied that the school at Grovelands was no longer required because Ashmole Primary School had met local demand. I offered to work with him to find a solution but he was reluctant to engage with me.

There were over 400 applications for 60 school places for the 2019 admission to Ashmole Primary School so I can inform the MP that there is more than enough demand for a new 2FE on the Grovelands site. The local authority and the local MP don’t seem to understand that parents want to send their children to outstanding schools near to where they live, not to schools where space has been created in a poorly judged Enfield expansion program.

Council vs Free School? The evidence is here, this is the reality for two mums who live near to each other.

Bowes Southgate Green Mum is scared for the future of her family, will her child’s sibling be going to the same school as his brother? Uncertainty and fear is her future whilst Enfield holds annual reviews to determine what their future will be.

Ashmole Primary School Mum is delighted, her three children will all go to Ashmole Primary School in a brand new state of the art building, built to accommodate 420 children which has just been rated outstanding by Ofsted.

This is about real people, not policy! Do the right thing Enfield!

Sign the petition to Save Bowes Southgate Green

Wren Academy Enfield Opening Date

We are aware that the project’s many supporters have been anxious for an update on progress.  Unfortunately, ongoing negotiations over potential sites for the new school have made it difficult for us to say anything substantive in recent months.

We had hoped to open Wren Enfield in September 2018 following a successful free school bid in 2015 to open a new and excellent secondary school in Enfield.

Despite all efforts, the government has unfortunately not yet been able to secure a site for the new school in time for our preferred opening date of September 2018.

We appreciate that this will cause disappointment to many parents who have supported us in our journey so far.  Unfortunately this situation is beyond the control of Wren Academy or our partner the London Diocesan Board for Schools as we rely upon the government to find us a site for the school.

Please be assured that we are fully committed to the opening the school, and strenuous efforts to find a site for Wren Enfield continue. We will let you know as soon as the government has secured a site, and confirmed a provisional opening date for the school.

Ashmole Primary School Parents need your help!

Support the Planning Application 16/5606/FUL – Ashmole Primary School to ensure the education of our children.
Support the planning application online via Barnet Council’s Planning Portal:
Reference: 16/5606/FUL
Closing Date was 27 SEPTEMBER 2016 but has been extended to 04 OCTOBER 2016

Wren Academy at Enfield Proposal Moves Ahead

News from the Wren Academy Trust & London Diocesan Board for Schools

We are delighted to announce the free school application for a new secondary school in Enfield has been approved by the Department for Education to enter the pre-opening phase. This brings closer the reality of a new school for western Enfield by September 2018. Parents of Year 3 and 4 children will have another choice when their children reach secondary transfer age.

As the free school’s proposers, Wren Academy Trust and the London Diocesan Board for Schools, will now start the detailed planning for opening the school. This includes appointing the headteacher and staff, forming the governing body and talking to parents about what the school will offer.

The school will be based on Christian values and open to the whole community whether Christians, other faiths or of no faith. The school will give preference to those living closest to it with half the places being for church-going families and the other half being ‘open’ places. We expect to start the admissions process in September 2017.

Michael Whitworth, Executive Principal of Wren Academy Trust, said, “We look forward to working with local primary schools and their parents to help develop our plans for the new school. We are confident that the special atmosphere at Wren Academy is something parents will want for Enfield. We are grateful to the hundreds of parents who supported our application and helped us get approval.”

We have suggested three possible sites for the school to the Education Funding Agency and they will be responsible for acquiring the site and building the school. Our preferred site is on Enfield Road, Oakwood where there are good transport links and a suitably large space for a new secondary school.

Wren Academy Trust & London Diocesan Board for Schools