Town Mouse on Pimlico Academy

Strange how quickly the Olympics can be forgotten. Golden resolutions to do more for sport faded as quickly as the fireworks from the closing ceremony. Or so it seems from Westminster City Council’s decision to let Pimlico Academy sacrifice a netball court to new buildings (although it will retain three netball courts and the running track).

The academy occupies the site of the late Pimlico Comprehensive, an award-winning but hated structure that has now been razed. Immense pains were taken by local groups to defeat a Private Finance Initiative and ensure that the new architecture would be humane. It is. The buildings are light, airy and welcoming.

The whole academy project seems to have been a success. Discipline is strict, standards have risen. Pimlico is a standard-bearer for Education Minister Michael Gove. It now wants to expand by opening its own primary school on the same site. Hold on. We already have good primary schools. The academy has barely enough space for its existing pupils, let alone a further 420. Despite plans for a space in the undercroft, tinies would have to share the same limited play space as 18 year olds. I’m not so sure I like the idea.

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