The Charter School East Dulwich, the new secondary school opening in September 2016 to serve students in East Dulwich and South Camberwell, has formally secured its permanent site this week with the acquisition of part of the Dulwich Community Hospital site by the Education Funding Agency (EFA).

This high profile site, which was sold by recently formed NHS Property Services, has been earmarked for re-generation for over 20 years, with longstanding plans to develop a health service centre on part of the site and to release the remainder for the benefit of the community. Much of the site currently occupied by the Dulwich Community Hospital is derelict. The development of the new Charter School East Dulwich and health centre constitutes a major re-generation of this community asset.

Since the successful bid to the DfE by The Charter School Educational Trust in March 2015, to open a sibling school for its ‘Outstanding’ rated school The Charter School in Dulwich, the EFA have been in discussions with NHS Property Services to purchase the remaining parcel of land in order to build a brand new secondary school. It will eventually accommodate 1680 11-18 year olds.

Securing the remaining parcel of land of the hospital site by the EFA is the ideal outcome for all, enabling the delivery of high end educational offering and a much needed health service hub in this dense urban area.

A significant portion of the site will be released to The Charter School East Dulwich immediately, with the rest handed over on completion of the sale for the final parcel of land. The remainder of the site will be released by the NHS through a phased programme as health services migrate to their new centre.

The Charter School East Dulwich is currently consulting the community for the temporary buildings which will be complete by September 2016 ready for its first intake of year 7 students. Applications for entry are open now through the new school’s website at www.chartereastdulwich.org.uk.

Alex Crossman, headteacher of The Charter School East Dulwich, said:

“This is a seminal moment for us. We are delighted to be able to offer comfort and security regarding our permanent site to the huge number of local families who have already applied for places at our school. We can now focus on our singular goal of developing one of the leading secondary schools in the country.”

Cllr Victoria Mills, Southwark Council Cabinet Member for Children and Schools, said:

“This is fantastic news, the Dulwich Community Hospital site is finally getting the new lease of life that Southwark Council and the community have fought so hard to secure. Making sure we have enough secondary school places is one of the biggest challenges we face, especially because procuring sites of this size and potential are few and far between in inner London, so this is a very welcome milestone.”