Dear Parent/ Resident,
Section 10 Consultation
Proposal: for the Secretary of State for Education to enter into a Funding Agreement with Wellington College Academy Trust to open a New Primary Academy (2 Form Entry – 420 places) in Ludgershall in September 2019
On behalf of Wellington College Academy Trust (the Trust), I am very pleased to announce the launch of a consultation between 1 – 30 November 2017 about a new primary academy in Ludgershall which aims to open in September 2019.
Wellington College Academy Trust has been approved by Wiltshire County Council to be the Sponsor of the new primary academy and it is a requirement to hold a consultation set out by Section 10 of the Academies Act 2010. Please note, this consultation is not related to any building or planning applications surrounding the new academy; it is solely to consult on whether appropriate persons support the Trust entering into a Funding Agreement with the Secretary of State for Education to run the new primary academy in Ludgershall. A Funding Agreement is the contract between the Secretary of State for Education and the Trust that sets out the terms on which the new primary academy is funded. This will enable the new primary academy to open in September 2019.
We are really excited about the launch of our second primary academy and this is an important step on our journey to opening in September 2019. We are looking forward to communicating our plans and listening to your views, in order to provide local pupils with the best education possible.
Why Does Ludgershall need a New Primary Academy?
Ludgershall requires a new Primary Academy because the impact of future troop movements and significant housing development is expected to increase demand for primary academy places over the coming years.
In 2015, the MOD announced the decision to base more soldiers and their families in the Salisbury Plain Training Area. A review of academy provision and demand for places arising from this decision was undertaken showing 750 additional primary and secondary academy places will be required to meet the extra demand.
Alongside this, there are 1,920 houses identified in the Wiltshire Core Strategy to be built in the Tidworth and Ludgershall community area of which approximately 60% have yet to be completed. Specifically, the Defense Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) has planning approval for service family accommodation (SFA) with 246 homes to be built in Ludgershall. Alongside this the DIO are currently completing 322 homes at Area 19 to the South of Tidworth. A number of civilian residential developments are also planned at Drummond Park, Empress Way and Granby 2
Gardens. This anticipated new housing is predicted to generate a further 950 primary aged pupils by 2026. Assuming the birth rate continues at the average rate and the housing in the town is delivered as planned, there will be a significant shortfall of places by 2026, even when the current academies operate at full capacity.
On this basis, a new 2 form entry (420 place) primary academy at Ludgershall, along with a 30-place nursery is planned to be opened in 2019. The new academy will accommodate children both from service families and from new civilian housing in the area. The planned new primary academy and the expansion of existing primary academy provision are expected to meet demand from Army Basing and anticipated housing in the area. The new primary academy site will be located on the former Corunna Barracks.
How was the Trust selected as the Preferred Sponsor?
Under Section 6a of the Education & Inspections Act 2006 (the ‘free academy presumption’) the Local Authority (LA) must seek proposals to establish an academy. The LA received proposals from approved sponsors to open this new academy, and after a careful review, recommended to the Regional Schools Commissioner for the South West that Wellington College Academy Trust should operate the new academy. In July 2017 the LA formally made the decision to make Wellington College Academy Trust the Sponsor.
About the Sponsor: Wellington College Academy Trust
Details about the Trust including its core vision, core team, academies, policies, community, vacancies and governance can be found by visiting the following link:
Our Proposal for Consultation
The Trust is seeking views on the planned new primary academy which is expected to open in September 2019. The project will be funded by Wiltshire Council’s Basic Need Capital programme, the MOD / DIO as part of the SFA planning applications and Section 106 funds from the residential developments.
The academy will have all the facilities expected of a primary academy designed for the 21st Century including a hall which can be used out of hours. Extra teaching and non- teaching staff would be recruited. In developing the plans further, the LA will seek to provide as much external play space as possible. The accommodation would be built to government requirements and guidelines including adequate parking provision.
Planning permission for the building works will be required.
There are disadvantages as well as advantages to the planned new academy and we summarise below some of these. We recognise that this list is not exhaustive and have left space at the end of the consultation questionnaire for you to add your views and comments.
• Parents and children living in the area will have the choice to attend a good primary academy operated by an established Sponsor
• The new primary academy will enjoy the benefits and opportunities available by being part of the wider Wellington College family of schools
• Pupils enrolled at the new primary academy will automatically have a place allocated to them at The Wellington Academy (secondary school)
• Continuity of provision, relationships and communication with the Trust and its staff for pupils aged 2 – 19
• Job creation: the new academy will provide teaching posts and other related roles
• Peace of mind by knowing that new school places would be available for families re-locating to the area in 2019
• Access to new purpose-built facilities for teaching and learning and community use.
• Some disruption may occur during the building works on the site and in the local area which would be managed by the LA very carefully.
For admissions in September 2019 we expect to be included in the Co-ordinated Admissions process run by Wiltshire Council. The Trustees have drawn up the admissions policy to be in line with that of other local academies as these are widely understood by parents and considered to be fair and accessible. The draft admissions policy – detailing how people can apply, how places will be allocated in the event of oversubscription, and how people can appeal against any decisions can be found on our website:
More information about the Academy Admissions Code can be found here:
How to Participate in the Consultation and Keep Up-to-Date with Developments
We would like to hear from all our academy community between 1 – 30 November to help inform the Secretary of State for Education’s decision on whether to enter into a Funding Agreement with The Wellington College Academy Trust for the new primary academy in Ludgershall. We want to listen to your comments and act on any feedback to ensure our academy best meets the needs of local children and the community.
There are two main ways to share your views:
1. By attending a drop-in meeting to discuss the planned new academy on Monday 13 November 3 – 6pm. This will be held in the Business Hub, located in The Wellington Academy, Ludgershall Road, Tidworth, Wiltshire SP11 9RR. Directions on how to find us can be found via:
You are warmly invited to join us to see the architect drawing, meet members of The Trust and ask questions.
2. By completing and returning a questionnaire either online or a paper version between 1 – 30 November.
a. You may access the online questionnaire here:
b. Paper copies of the questionnaire are available to collect from, and return to, Reception at:
• Wellington Primary Academy, Oatway Road, Tidworth, Wiltshire SP9 7FP; and
• The Wellington Secondary Academy.
Boxes for completed paper questionnaires will be placed in both reception areas.
You can keep up-to-date with developments about the opening of the new new primary academy in Ludgershall via the Trust’s Website: www.wcat.org.uk
What Happens Next?
We will record all views that are shared with us during the formal consultation window, which runs between 1 – 30 November 2017.
This feedback will be reviewed, analysed and consolidated into a final report that will be forwarded to the Department for Education and uploaded to the Trust’s website.
If you are interested in sending a child to the academy or would like to hear more about how you can support us, please do get in touch to register your interest.
I look forward to hearing from you and/or seeing you!
Ms A Phillip