URGENT: re. Elliott School, Putney, London. (1954) Grade II Listed

Ed Lattimore's picture
Please help us save a building of great architectural and cultural importance.

Dear Local Schools Network,

There are shocking plans to sell off the majority of the Elliott School site and to demolish the historic sports hall and technology suites, the main playground and surrounding landscape features, all designed in 1954.

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29th February 2012 - Wandsworth Borough Councillors voted to designate up to 55% of the Elliott School site as 'surplus' to educational requirements. This will enable them to sell the majority of the school land for private development as the school is converted to an ARK academy. The news comes after decades of sustained neglect of the iconic school buildings and in spite of repeated assurances that the school would be refurbished sensitively and the grounds protected. In 2010 the money allocated for Elliott under the BSF program was withdrawn. In Jan 2012 Education secretary Michael Gove gave the go ahead for the planned 'sell off'.

Under these proposals Elliott would loose the main landscaped playground - a principle stage for the school during assemblies, events and memorials. Its largest car park, its dedicated sixth block, 6 tennis courts, large football pitch and long jump area, the outside theatre, nature-garden (run by students with community donations), the caretakers lodge, memorials to past Elliottonians and delightful student projects like the 'Human Sundial' by Will Simpson. The land 'for sale' is Elliott’s main, green, community space. It has a rich history and significance.

Only a decade ago, Elliott was one of the most successful and diverse state schools in the country with one of the highest value added scores. It is both the building and the school that are publicly celebrated and should be preserved. They are a unique part of our architectural and cultural heritage. Elliott School is “Perhaps the finest of the large comprehensive schools built by the London County Council Architects” (Elain Harwood, English Heritage).

This campaign is about preserving Elliott’s architecture and setting, considered to be among the best in class example of its style.

Relevant Links:

Campaigning For 20th Century Architecture

Architects Journal

Elliot School

Evening Standard
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Janet Downs's picture
Tue, 06/03/2012 - 13:34

The school's website says there will be a consultation published shortly on its website. It notes that the final decision about the disposal of the land will rest with Mr Gove on the basis of local consultation.

The website describes the BSF funding allocated to the school as being "on hold" after the cancellation of BSF funding in 2010 shortly after the Coalition came to power. This is a very interesting choice of wording - "on hold" suggests that the funding was withdrawn only to be reinstated if... (I'll leave it to readers to supply a possible ending).


Tim Bidie's picture
Sat, 10/03/2012 - 21:57

“Smiles on thee, on me, on all;
Who became an infant small.
Infant smiles are his own smiles;
Heaven & earth to peace beguiles.”

Véronique Howard's picture
Mon, 23/04/2012 - 07:44

A shockingly badly handled development which shows no concern for education or the environment. Yet another example of the greed and apathy that are becoming the cancers of our society.

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