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Tag: lewisham council

Forest Hill School falls £1m into debt

Forest Hill School in Mayow Road reported a £615,000 loss last year and the school expects to lose a further £557,000 this year. This startling news was given to Lewisham Mayor and Cabinet at their meeting on the 1st December. 

The school was recently rebuilt under a PFI budget and the school had overestimated the income they would receive under the terms of that budget. The school  also found that the arrangement where they managed the shared sports facilities on behalf of the council unsustainable, and Lewisham has now assumed direct management of these facilities.

 The M&C agreed that Forest Hill School should have a licensed deficit budget of £557,000 this year on condition that the school brings the budget back into a surplus position within a three year period. The maximum period in law allowed for a secondary school to be in deficit is 5 years. 

The school aims bring its finances back into line by making the following cuts: 

  • The Senior Leadership Team by one post
  • The teaching staff by 1.4 FTE
  • 2.6 FTE Learning Support Assistants
  • A Learning Mentor has been identified for redundancy.
  • Several experienced teachers have been replaced with teachers on lower points, while Recruitment and Retention Incentives have been withdrawn
  • Lunchtime Supervisors have been reduced in number by 4.
  • Following a resignation, two posts have been amalgamated while one administrative post (0.6) has been identified for redundancy.
  • Reducing the working week to 25 periods.

Forest Hill School has a high reputation locally and a strong academic record. Last year, 50% of pupils achieved five or more GCSEs Grade C or above including English and Maths – results which are above the national average.


For details of the report to Mayor& Cabinet see:

Assembly meeting postponed!

The Assembly meeting for tonight – 2nd January – has been postponed due to the weather. The next meeting will be in January – date to be confirmed.

The Sydenham Assembly is an opportunity to make your voice heard and find out what is going on in the area. Topics to be discussed include the ‘Our Lewisham, Our Say’ consultation; the Wells Park youth centre and Sydenham Library (the decision on closure has been deferred by the Mayor for two months to allow community groups to develop an alternative solution).


The following four projects will be bidding for a share of the £25,000 Mayor’s Fund: 

Project 1 – Sydenham Arts Festival £10,000

This project addresses the assembly priorities of a vibrant high street and more activities for children and young people. 

Description – The third annual Sydenham Arts Festival will run from 1 July to 17 July and is currently being planned. In 2011 we intend to provide live performances in the High Street including theatrical performances and exhibitions in “pop-up” shops, a Family Picnic in the (Home) Park with live entertainment and children’s activities working with Friends of Home Park, an open-air Free Film Show in Mayow Park, a Visual Arts Trail and performance workshops.  We are currently in discussions with the Sydenham and Forest Hill Youth Forum, local musicians and performers and many other event organisers about approximately fifty other arts events taking place during the Festival.

The Sydenham Arts Festival is already established as a major community event and we want to build on this to improve community cohesion and a sense of place. This year we are planning to encourage young people to take part in activities and to put on performances organised by them during the Festival period.  This will not only involve activities and performances during the Festival but will involve planning these events in the months leading up to the Festival. 

Project 2 – Sydenham Community Radio £5,000 

This project addresses the assembly priorities of a vibrant high street and more activities for children and young people. 

Description – The intergenerational project involves teaching young people between the ages of 14 and 18 how to use recording equipment, as well as teaching interviewing skills. Young people will then be taught how to edit pre-recorded material and how to produce and present live programmes.

Older people will be interviewed on a number of subjects, with a emphasis on how different generations can learn from each other, and programmes will be developed for both online transmission and for on air broadcasts during the summer one month FM license period in 2011. 

The project aims to promote social cohesion by enabling young and older people to talk and work with each other. Facilitating a community dialogue is central to this project in that both groups will be given a voice through access to a new platform. 

Project 3 – Sydenham Film Club £4,500 

This project addresses the assembly priorities of a vibrant high street and more activities for children and young people. 

Description – This project will deliver on an active inclusive community which is part of the priority for a vibrant high street.  It is hoped to work with young people through the Sydenham and Forest Hill Youth Forum. 

The project will involve residents of the local community as films attract a diverse audience.  It is hoped to build up numbers attending the film club by starting with a regular monthly film show.  Existing networks will be used to promote the film club and attract more volunteers as well as researching what types of film residents would want to see screened eg promoting the film club through the Sydenham Society and Sydenham Arts Festival.  

Project 4 – Switch It £4,000 

This project addresses the assembly priorities of a tackling ant-social behaviour and more activities for children and young people. 

Description – Run by FA trained coach, Jeremy Zulu, and supported by other volunteers in the community, the project delivers the positive activity of football, enhancing health and fitness. It also provides coaching to develop skills, and it provides the environment to discuss issues relevant to young people, encouraging them to receive mentoring, make positive life choices, to turn away from crime and anti-social behaviour and to stay in education and succeed in life. 

Up to 50 young people a week will attend, engaging in healthy physical activities, enhancing skills, and discussing issues and learning skills for living well. 

The coaches and mentors enable young people to discuss issues of concern to them, and where necessary receive help with anger management. They are encouraged to do well at sport, avoid exclusion from school, and to aspire to becoming coaches themselves in the future 

 For more information, go to: