How were the councilors of Hamelin to educate the lone boy, and what was the ILEA to do with its plans for a huge school campus? How were they to educate the children for the next twenty years? What buildings did they need?

Rutherford School, with its new science labs, had no need of the newly built Marylebone Grammar School ones in Cosway Street. City of Westminster College was happy to take over that building. The 'educational campus' itself, now sadly decayed, could be used for housing. The problem of providing a modern comprehensive curriculum to cover all subjects, at all levels, with few pupils, was a more daunting problem.

The Solution

In the event, Michael Marland suggested a solution that he had already explored in Stoke Newington. This was based on the original London School Plan of 1947. Like everywhere else in London, Stoke Newington had a shortage of children and had to combine schools, but they already had some large school buildings. Two schools could be collapsed into one, in an existing building. Michael Marland's plan for one school on several sites in Stoke Newington was not necessary, but it fitted Marylebone and Paddington like a glove. Westminster had several new small school buildings, so North Westminster Community School could be created in three buildings, to take boys and girls of a full range of abilities from a very wide catchment area.

There would be two Lower Houses, Marylebone Lower House in Penfold Street and Paddington Lower House in Maida Vale, with pupils aged 11-14. After these, but still part of the same school, would be one Upper School for students aged 14-19. Each site would have a Director of Campus, with a Head Teacher overall. One curriculum and three campuses. It was while walking round and planning the details of all this, in 1980, that Michael Marland tripped over the Paddington Almshouse Stone, which began this book. 

The three sites which were linked to create North Westminster Community School


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Updated January 24, 2011