Building delay at Michael Gove backed Whitehall Park School in Archway

The former Ashmount Primary School which is now Whitehall Park

The former Ashmount Primary School which is now Whitehall Park - Credit: Archant

Classrooms will not be ready until at least January due to new designs and election

Children at a Government-backed free school in Archway will be in portacabins until 2016 after it announced delays to its new £10million building.

The two reception classes at Whitehall Park in Hornsey Rise were expected to move into a brand new school in September but due to changes to the design they will not be able to get planning permission in time.

The building, which is estimated to cost the Government about £10million, will now not be ready for pupils until at least January 2016, with Whitehall Park having to wait until after this year’s election when funding for the project could potentially fall into the hands of a new Education Secretary.

The news was sent out to current parents on January 12, but was not posted on the school’s website until January 19, four days after the deadline for Islington Primary School applications.

In a newsletter to parents, a school spokesman said: “We are obviously disappointed with the delay and were clearly looking forward to moving into the new school at the start of the new school year.

“However we believe that the short delay will result in the provision of a better building for our pupils and a school that meets the needs of a 21st-century curriculum.”

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The school which will eventually be a two-form entry primary had planned to be completely finished by September 2017, but this is now in doubt.

David Barry, a resident in nearby Dresden Road and a former chairman of governors at an Islington school said: “I think it’s very doubtful that the school will be ready by January 2016. They’ve still got to submit the plans, get planning permission and then get it signed off by whoever the Secretary of State is after the election.”

“There will also be parents who have applied to the school on the promise of a new building in September that have not been informed until after the closing date.

“It’s poor practice.”

Whitehall Park were contacted by the Gazette but did not respond.