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Proposed Expansion of The Wellington Academy (Secondary 11-18)

Proposed Expansion of The Wellington Academy (Secondary 11-18)

Background

The Wellington Academy needs to expand because of a growing primary school pupil population and the decision by the Ministry of Defence (MOD) to base more soldiers and their families in the Salisbury Plain Training Area. The Army Basing Programme will involve the relocation of 4,300 troops to the areas around Salisbury Plain, and as part of this some 1,200 additional children will need school provision.  Wiltshire Council has been working closely with the MOD to ensure the provision of appropriate educational facilities at both primary and secondary level. The planned move of troops within the Army Basing Programme will require the additional provision to be available from quarter three of 2019. (September 2019)

As part of the overall plan, the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) have planning approval for service family accommodation (SFA) with 246 homes to be built in Ludgershall. The DIO are also currently completing 322 homes at Area 19 to the South of Tidworth. A variety of civilian residential developments are also planned at Drummond Park, Empress Way and Granby Gardens.

Assuming the birth rate continues at the average rate for the past four years and the housing is delivered as planned there will be a significant short fall in places starting in 2020. The information below shows current pupil projections against a school capacity of 1050.

Sep 17  Sep 18  Sep  19 Sep  20  Sep  21  Sep 22  Sep 23
Age  11 – 16 Students  700       774       904       1170       1249      1334      1429

Forecasts: Red figures show when school reaches/exceeds capacity for those year groups, indicating that The Wellington Academy capacity will exceed capacity during the academic year 2020. This is as a result of the arrival of secondary pupils arising from Army Basing and completion of other residential developments.
The proposal

Wellington College Academy Trust, which The Wellington Academy is a member of, and Wiltshire Council are seeking views on a proposal to expand the school from 1050 to 1350 for students aged 11 to 16.  The expanded school will operate from September 2019 with 60 extra students in each age group. The school will continue to provide a 6th Form/Post 16 Centre. The expansion will be funded by the Council’s Basic Need Capital Programme, the MOD/DIO as part of the SFA planning applications and Section 106 funds from the residential developments.
To enable the Academy to expand it is proposed to provide additional classrooms and learning spaces. Extra teaching and non-teaching staff would be recruited. In developing the plans further, the Academy will seek to maintain as much as possible of the external play space on site.  Land to facilitate the expansion of the site is being provided by the MOD/DIO adjacent to the existing site, which will be improved to provide additional playing field space and parking.  The new accommodation will be built to government requirements and guidelines.

Planning permission for the building works will be required should the proposal proceed.

The views of The Wellington Academy and Wellington College Academy Trust

We have discussed the proposal and support the principle of expansion so that we can help meet the need for school places in the local area.  There are disadvantages as well as advantages to expansion and we summarise below some of these.  We recognise that this list is not exhaustive and have left space on the questionnaire for you to add your views.  Should the plans progress we will keep you informed at every stage.

Advantages
• The Academy would be better able to meet the needs of more of the local community who wish for their children to attend their local school.
• Additional places would be available for children living nearby.
• Job creation and greater career progression opportunities for members of staff. The expansion of the Academy would provide further teaching posts and other related roles from 2019.
• Increased financial flexibility and resourcing for the Academy and the wider Multi Academy Trust.
• New facilities for teaching and learning.

Disadvantages
• The school size will increase, but this will happen incrementally over five years.  We will preserve a “family” feel so that students know the staff in their area and don’t feel lost.
• Some disruption may occur during the building works on the site and in the local area which would need to be managed very carefully.

Have your say

We need your views to assist us in making a decision on expansion.

IMPORTANT

There will be a ‘drop in’ workshop at The Wellington Academy to review information regarding the expansion proposal and members of the team will be available to take questions.

This will be held at The Wellington Academy in the Atrium on 15th May 2017. There will be 2 sessions available as follows:

3.00 – 4.00pm

5.00 – 7.00pm

All are welcome including Students, Staff, Parents/Carers, Governors, residents and members of the community.
What happens next?

• April 2017 consultation starts;
• 26th May 2017 deadline for responses to the consultation.
• June 2017 Wellington College Academy Trust considers consultation responses and decides whether or not to proceed. Update for parents on progress.
• September 2017 Planning application.
• December 2017 Planning determination.
• July 2018 Contractor starts on site.
• July 2019 Completion and handover.
• September 2019 new students arrive.

Please take time to complete the online questionnaire so that we can get your feedback. In order for us to collate your responses. Please reply to the survey by midday on Friday 26th May 2017.

You may access the survey here www.wcat.org.uk/survey

Alternatively paper copies of the survey are available from Reception of The Wellington Academy and these should be returned by midday on Friday 26th May 2017. Boxes for completed forms will be placed in the Academy reception area.

Alternatively, please post to:
The Wellington Academy Expansion Project, Tidworth, Wiltshire, SP11 9RR

Yours faithfully
Dr M Milner
Executive Principal
Wellington College Academy Trust


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