St Martin’s to close – pupils to get places at other local schools

St Martin-in-the-Fields High School for Girls, for many years a landmark on Tulse Hill, is to close because of falling rolls.

The 11-19 Church of England academy, originally founded in 1699, is the second Lambeth secondary school in recent months to announce its closure for this reason.

The closure of Archbishop Tenison’s in Oval was announced in April.

St Martin’s will close from 31 August this year to current Year 7, 8 and 9 students. The school will remain open for current Year 10 and 12 students ahead of their exams next year, and will close fully in August 2024.

The school iis working closely with the Department for Education, Lambeth council and the Southwark Church of England Diocese to secure arrangements for the closure.

A process of student reallocation is due to begin shortly, in which students currently attending St Martins ls be allocated a place at another school in the area.

Parents and carers have been informed, and will have an opportunity to apply for a different school other than their intended offer.

Students expecting to attend St Martin’s sixth form from this September will be offered a place at another school win South London Sixth (SL6) – The Elmgreen School in West Norwood and Dunraven School in Streatham.

St Martin’s is also putting support in place for its staff.

The academy, along with many other schools in Lambeth and neighbouring areas, has faced the challenge of falling pupil numbers in the area.

The number of students on the school’s roll has been falling for the last few years. Wth the number of pupils in Lambeth not expected to increase for approximately eight years, it is no longer financially viable for the school to operate.

The school said it had explored “in great depth” various avenues to keep St Martin’s open, including becoming co-educational and/or merging with other local schools.

After reviewing each of these options in detail, it decided none were viable, nor could they overcome the fundamental issue of falling pupil numbers in Lambeth.

The school has a rich history of educating girls. There are currently 401 students on roll at St Martin’s, and 55 staff. St Martin’s also currently has a co-educational sixth form.

The school’s site is owned by a charitable trust with objectives focused on the welfare and education of children and young people.

Those objectives will be central to any decisions made on the future use of the site, the school said.

A spokesperson said: “It is with a heavy heart that we are announcing the closure of our school.

“We understand that this news will cause concern for members of our school community, and are wholly committed to providing support and guidance to all impacted parties.

“St Martin’s boasts a rich heritage dating back over 300 years rooted in Christian values and the nurture of our students; in accord with these values, we are dedicated to supporting our students and staff through the closure process. We would like to thank every member of the community who has been part of our school’s journey.”