The Old Bournemouthians’ Association exists to enable past pupils of Bournemouth School to keep in touch with one another and with the current developments within the school. We currently boast over 440 members.
We offer a way of staying in touch with other Old Boys, including the popular Annual Dinner in September. If you are not a member, why not join?
An update on the current building project from the Headmaster:
I thought that it may be an appropriate time to update you on the building works that are being undertaken at school. Much of the work commissioned following the successful bid to the Condition Improvement Fund has now been completed; the entire programme is due to be completed before the end of term (and within budget!). A number of roofs, windows and doors have been replaced and the school is already becoming warmer and less draughty (this is particularly noticeable in the hall, which has also benefitted from significantly improved insulation in the roof). Unfortunately, little progress has been made recently in constructing the new block that is funded from the Selective Schools Expansion Fund.
As you may recall, in September we applied for planning permission to build a new block comprising a new larger dining room facility and kitchen, six large classrooms and additional toilets to meet the needs of our growing community. We also intend to upgrade our sixth form facilities to provide a new sixth form centre to allow our sixth form students a bright, airy space in which to study and relax. This new facility will be the largest investment in the school since the late 1960s, and only made possible by the successful bid to the Selective Schools Expansion Fund.
As part of the planning process, the local authority invited comments to be made about the application to inform any subsequent decision. We were extremely grateful for all of the supportive comments that were logged; there was overwhelming support for the proposal. By now, we had hoped to have “broken ground”, but I regret to inform you that the necessary planning permissions have not yet been granted.
Since September, our Architect, Planning Consultant and Transport Consultant, alongside the school have continued to work to resolve the issues that the Highways Officer, the Tree Officer and the Heritage Officer have raised to the Planning Officer. We have had a meeting with the Planning Officer, Highways Officer and the Tree Officer on site and looked at the issues raised at that time. Despite giving numerous reassurances, proposing additional planting to mitigate the loss of any existing trees, extending the provision of cycle racks and changing arrangements for parking, there still appear to be obstacles to the local authority granting planning permission. In the last few weeks the School have been advised that we may need to provide a fully signalised junction between Charminster Road, Court Road and East Way. The projected cost of doing so, places the whole project in jeopardy. A signalised junction has never (to our knowledge) been identified as a priority for the local authority (old or new), until now. It is difficult to understand why a projected small increase in the number of pedestrians walking towards or leaving the site warrants the action suggested. Anyone who has frequently used the junction will realise the chaos that full signalisation will cause – traffic will soon back up to the Five Ways roundabout, and joining Charminster Road from West Way will become a nightmare. Bus stops will also need to be relocated.
National planning guidance emphasises that the government attaches great importance to ensuring that a sufficient choice of school places are available to meet the needs of existing and new communities. It encourages Local Planning Authorities (LPAs) to take a proactive, positive and collaborative approach to meeting this requirement, and to development that will widen choice in education. LPAs should therefore give great weight to the need to create, expand or alter schools; and work with schools (and their appointed architects) to identify and resolve key planning issues. Regrettably, this appears not to have been the case. This is even more remarkable given that the predecessor authority contributed £200k of capital funding to the expansion plans. Perhaps if the council were bearing the full cost of the expansion, the approach would be different. We feel that other schools within BCP are being supported by the new authority (such as Carter Community School), whereas we, perhaps because we are a selective school, are being treated less favourably.
Such delays are not only costly, but have meant that the intended further expansion of the school (from September 2021) has had to be postponed indefinitely, as we are unable to expand further without the surety of have extended accommodation. It may well be that we have to consider a reduction in the numbers admitted from September 2022 (to 150) until our extended accommodation is available. We fear that if planning permission is not granted in the near future the grant that we have been awarded (in total worth nearly £5m to the local economy) will be withdrawn. We have worked hard to draw our intake increasingly from the local area, enabling more pupils to walk or cycle to school. Ironically, if we had not changed our admissions policy to favour local children, the transport department would not be requiring the junction to be improved to accommodate additional pedestrians.
To try to secure the planning permission, we have submitted amended plans, showing how we are addressing the issues that have been raised (other than signalising the junction, which we feel is an unreasonable condition). Consequently, the local authority are undertaking a further consultation. We would be grateful if all parents were to make their thoughts known (even if you responded to the previous consultation). We hope that you will feel able to support our application and make clear your thoughts about the reasonableness of the signalised junction being made a pre-condition of approval. Comments about are application may be made through the local authority’s website https://online.bcpcouncil.gov.uk/services/planningapplicationcomments/
The closing date for comments is Sunday 8th March. The planning application number is 7-2019-1260-AY, and our address is Bournemouth School, East Way, Bournemouth, BH8 9PY.
We would be happy to respond to any queries that you may have about the project.
Sarah Coles has got in touch to speak to some OB’s about their experiences of Bournemouth School. She writes:
I am a mature History Undergraduate at Bournemouth University and, as part of a community history project, am looking into the educational and linked social opportunities available in Bournemouth throughout the years. This is a group project and I have been tasked with researching the grammar schools.
I would be very interested to hear from anybody who would like to tell me their tales of grammar school life in Bournemouth. This could be through a telephone conversation, e-mail or face to face meeting. Please email me in the first instance with your preferred method of contact and I will get back to you in person.
Thank you for your time and I hope to hear your tales soon. Sarah 😀.
You can contact Sarah on email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sunday 8th September, 11:00, on the East Way playing fields.
All are invited to the inauguration of this event, in which two teams of OB’s will play a game of football followed by a game of rugby. There will be a BBQ and soft drinks available, but please feel free to bring along your own refreshments, alcoholic or otherwise!
The purpose of the event is to raise money for new school sports kits and to encourage the growth of the Old Bournemouthians’ Association.
The PE Dept. have already been organising the teams; spread the word so we have good attendance and a great day, with the view to hosting more events like this in the future!
About the book: Bournemouth Heroes tells the story of the British Army on the Western Front in Belgium and France, 1914-18. The narrative integrates the experiences of Bournemouthians who took part in these campaigns from the initial battles of August 1914 to the Armistice of 1918 and the occupation of Germany in 1919, and sets out to assess the contribution made by a small and newly-founded boys’ grammar school to the course of the war. As the author reveals, Bournemouth School members were involved in every major battle fought by the British Army on the Western Front. There, they were involved in all of the many developments of the war, including the first use of poison gas, of flamethrowers, and of tanks. These included boys who managed to serve despite being under-age, with some paying the ultimate price for their bravery.
Having established the membership of the
school from its foundation in 1901, the author began eighteen years of research
using school records; a range of local newspapers from the period; files held
at the National Archives, and elsewhere; information offered by contacts made
through the school and through on-line forums; and through on-line archives
from various Commonwealth countries. He identified 1,125 members of the school
to investigate, and 674 members of the school who served, though by no means
only on the Western Front. Over one hundred of them were killed, and many more
The book will be of interest not only to military historians, but also to anyone with an interest in Bournemouth, Bournemouth School, and the families from Hampshire, Wiltshire, and Dorset whose lives were changed so dramatically by participation in the events of the war.
Save the date! On Sunday 8th September 2019, the Old Bournemouthians’ Association will be hosting a rugby and football event between two teams of Old Boys. There will be a BBQ and marquee set up on the East Way playing fields from 11:00.
We are hoping to establish this as an annual event which shall attract more and more OB’s each year. All are welcome – get in touch with your old school friends and come along to support the event!