New traffic measures as school brings pupils onto a single site

Olive free school pupils on the steps of their current school

Olive free school pupils on the steps of their current school in 2020. - Credit: Archant

A Hackney school, currently split up into three sites across the borough, will soon be able to accommodate all 630 of its pupils at a former police station in Lower Clapton Road.

Currently the Olive School’s pupils are based at three different places in Hackney, two of which are temporary – New College in Hoxton and Cazenove Road in Stoke Newington.

The initial 2016 plan to open the school at a former police station in the centre of the borough was rejected by Hackney’s planning committee but approved on appeal by the Secretary of State.

But a condition meant it could initially only have 90 pupils at the converted police station, with gradual increases until 2023. This was amended to 180 pupils a year.

The school went back to the planning committee last week (28 July) after additional temporary sites became unavailable and asked if it could welcome all students to a single site in September.

Olive School principal Babar Mirza told the planning committee pupils were missing three weeks of learning a year travelling between sites.


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After the decision to consolidate the sites was granted he added: “Pupils will no longer have to miss after-school clubs and enrichment activities because their sibling’s on another site.

"No more eating lunches from plastic takeaway containers, no more queueing up or walking through other classrooms to use the toilets.”

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Complaints about traffic, parking and predictions of more vehicles at the Olive School site have prompted a decision to extend its School Streets zone – where traffic is not allowed at school drop-off and collection times.

Most pupils live within a two-kilometre catchment area and many live even closer, the committee was told. 

However, 29 per cent of the pupils come to school by car – one of the highest uses of private transport seen by the council’s School Streets team.

The school will provide £225,000 to help mitigate the impact of transport – including £135,000 towards new School Streets, which could be at Sutton Place, Clapton Square and Sutton Square, and two new automatic number plate recognition cameras.

There will no longer be a need for the five school buses taking children between sites.

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