This consultation is now closed.

Bow School Consultation

Tower Hamlets Council and the governing body of Bow School are planning major changes to the school.

The changes we are planning from September 2014 are:

-  to increase the size of the school from 125 places in each year to 270 places in each year (Years 7 to 11)

-  to admit both boys and girls to the school

-  to transfer the school to a new site on Gillender Street, E3, with brand new purpose built accommodation

-  to provide 6th form education

This is an exciting and challenging proposal for Bow School and for the local community as we develop the school for the benefit of the future of young people in Tower Hamlets.

We want to consult as many people as possible and hear your views. During the consultation period, there will be opportunities at Bow School to discuss the proposals and see pictures and plans of the proposals for the new site. There will be meetings at some primary schools in the area for parents, particularly of children now in Years 4 and 5. You can see plans and pictures of the new building on Bow School’s website ( via this link:

Bow School of Maths and Computing - New School Site - Important Information

Come to Bow School on Tuesday 29th January between 4.30pm – 6.30pm to see and hear about the plans. We welcome all parents of students now at Bow School and parents of children who will be applying for a secondary school in the future.

Let us have your views by:

-   attending one of the meetings


Why are we doing this?

Increasing the size of the school

In Tower Hamlets there is a steadily rising school roll and we forecast that it will continue to rise for several years to come. We have increased the size of some primary schools to ensure we have enough places and will continue to develop plans for more primary school places. We forecast that by 2014, all the existing secondary school places will be taken up and so we need to plan for more places in time for the children who will need them. We forecast that Tower Hamlets will need 13,000 more school places in the period 2012 to 2022, with 5,500 of those for 11-16 year olds. The plans for Bow School to increase from 125 to 270 places in each year will play a significant part in meeting the first stages of this rising need.


Changing the school from boys’ only school to girls and boys

In Tower Hamlets we have some mixed secondary schools and some which are either for boys or for girls. We have to plan for additional places in a way that will meet the needs of the community in the best way we can. By the school admitting boys and girls, there will be greater flexibility and choice for parents across the borough.


Moving the school to a new site

The existing site of Bow School has a number of disadvantages:

-   it is separated by Paton Close. The road cannot be closed because it is the access to the DLR track

-   its size is restricted which means that we cannot provide all the facilities for the school on the site, and we cannot expand the school to provide more places that the borough needs

-   the Council has the opportunity to make significant investment in improvements to the school in the Building Schools for the Future programme (BSF), but the existing site does not have the capacity to give the best outcome

The Council and local secondary schools have worked together to plan the best way to invest the BSF funds. In order to get the best for Bow School, we investigated the options for moving to a new site which would allow the creation of brand new facilities with sufficient space for a larger school. The Council has selected the Bow Lock site, which it already owns, because it is large enough for the new development and is close to the existing site so the school will continue to serve the same local community. The new site is in the area of the borough where there is a high level of new housing development so it will also serve the population of these areas.


How will the admission arrangements work for girls and for boys?

In the first years of girls’ places at Bow, we will take action to promote the number of girls at the school. For four years from September 2014, girls will only be admitted at Year 7 until the year groups have both girls and boys. The Year 7 places will be designated equally with 135 places for girls and 135 places for boys. The places will be filled in this priority order:

-   pupils who apply from each gender will be considered in accordance with banding arrangements and the admissions criteria for community schools up to a maximum of 135 places for boys and 135 places for girls. This may mean that some pupils may be initially refused a place because the target number for that gender has been filled

-   any places remaining after national offer day and applications received outside the normal point of entry will be filled in accordance with the admission criteria regardless of gender

-   after September 2018, the school will operate the normal admission  arrangements for community schools in Tower Hamlets


How will the changes affect the school and students already on roll?

-   all the building works will take place at a separate location before Bow School moves in so that avoids the disruption of building works going on around the school

-   boys now on roll will benefit from the new facilities at the new site

-   the increased number of 270 will be admitted at Year 7 only so the larger roll will build up over time and the school will be able to adapt gradually to the larger number and make arrangements for break and lunchtime if necessary as the extra students come to the school

-   because girls will only be admitted at Year 7 and to the 6th form until all year groups operate at the new number, the total number of girls will build up over time. The school will ensure that the initial groups of girls have their own tutor groups/form groups to help the school integrate

-   the school will be a part of the Sixth Form East affiliation from September 2013, but will not admit its own students to the 6th form until September 2014 when it moves to the new building. There will eventually be 160 places in the 6th form


Travel to the new school

The site for the new Bow School is well connected. The Bromley-by-Bow tube station, on the District and Hammersmith and City lines is a short walk away and Devons Road DLR station is also close along Devas Street. A number of bus routes run close to the site, or along the A12/Gillender Street or Twelvetrees Crescent. Vehicles can approach the site along the A12 and Gillender Street or along Twelvetrees Crescent. A variety of pedestrian routes lead to the site; beside the A12, along Twelvetrees Crescent, across the proposed pedestrian crossing on Twelvetrees Crescent, through the Coventry Cross subway or along the Lea Valley walk which runs through Bow Locks. Cyclists can also use these routes.

  • Safe access to the school for pupils and staff crossing the A12 has been considered throughout the design process. These works listed below are being done to improve the access and safety:
  • Epsom Street and Bromley by Bow Subway improvements including the commissioning of a local artist to develop a brief for improvements, working with Bow School students
  • Improved street lighting
  • Installation of CCTV along A12 and Twelvetrees Crescent including subways
  • Footpath improvement and installing guardrails
  • Installation of 2 pedestrian crossings across Twelvetrees Crescent and the Twelvetrees loop underpass
  • Realignment of Twelvetrees Crescent to ensure traffic is slowed when entering loop road

Consultation and what happens next

We are consulting widely on these proposals to make sure we hear as many views as possible. The timetable for consultation and taking decisions following this stage of consultation is:

Initial consultation7 January – 15 February 2013

The Council’s Cabinet receives a report on the consultation and decides on publishing formal statutory proposals

April 2013

Statutory proposals published with 6 weeks allowed for comments

22 April to 31 May 2013

The decision will be taken to implement the proposals either by the Council’s Cabinet if there are objections; or, if there are no objections, by the Corporate Director of Children, Schools & Families

By 31 July 2013

School transfers to its new site

Summer 2014

Girls and the additional pupils admitted to Year 7

September 2014


Let us know your views by:

-   Attending one of the meetings

-   Coming to meet us at Bow School on Tuesday 29th January between 4.30pm – 6.30pm. We welcome all parents of students now at Bow School and parents of children who will be applying for a secondary school in the future.

-   Coming to a meeting at your primary school – each local school will let you know the details