The new school explained

April 05 2018
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Cathedral Schools Trust (CST) and Bristol City Council (BCC) have secured £25 million from central government to build a new secondary school to serve the north of the city. It is proposed that the new school is built on the derelict Romney Avenue Junior School site.

New secondary school to be built in Lockleaze

In a nutshell what’s happening?

Cathedral Schools Trust (CST) and Bristol City Council (BCC) have secured £25 million from central government to build a new secondary school to serve the north of the city. It is proposed that the new school is built on the derelict Romney Avenue Junior School site. The Stoke Park Primary School governors are also willing to share the Stoke Park Primary site to enable better facilities to be built. Stoke Park Primary will then be able to share some of the new facilities with the secondary school.

Why?

The need for secondary school places in Bristol is becoming increasingly critical - we know that by 2022 there will be a shortage of 683 places in Year 7 and that there is a particular need in the North of the city with an estimated shortage of over 300 places by 2022. 800 new homes are also planned for the Lockleaze area which will add to the demand.

Why has Lockleaze been chosen?

Local people and organisations have made this outcome possible – this is a project that was born and has been developed over the last 16 months in Lockleaze. In October 2016, senior leaders and governors from Stoke Park Primary School learnt that CST had been successful in their competitive application, as part of the government’s Free School programme, to deliver a new secondary school for north Bristol children; they approached local councillors to explore the benefits of inviting CST to build their new secondary school on the derelict Romney Avenue Junior School site. With support from local councillors, the Lockleaze Neighbourhood Trust and St James’ Church, this idea was presented to the Mayor and BCC. The potential benefits of this project to local children and families were evident from the start; other proposals for the old Romney Avenue Junior School site would have predominantly met city-wide rather than local needs. Subsequently, it was agreed by all parties involved in the discussions that this would be a great opportunity for the children of the Lockleaze estate and the wider community. When CST leaders visited, they saw the potential of the site, were greatly impressed by Stoke Park Primary School, notably their rich and varied curriculum, as well as by the community and its highly active and effective local organisations. Since then Stoke Park Primary School senior leaders and governors have worked tirelessly with CST, Bristol City Council and the Education & Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) to make this possibility a reality. In March 2018, with a £25million capital funding commitment from the ESFA, the Council Cabinet unanimously agreed to green-light the project to build a brand new secondary school on the old Romney Avenue Junior School site.

Does the new school have a name?

The new school will be called CST Trinity Academy and will be open by September 2020. CST intends to open in temporary accommodation in September 2019 for the first year whilst building work is being completed. CST are working closely with architects and specialist building contractors to ensure that they create a modern school with cutting edge facilities.

Has the local community been consulted?

The consultation process has not yet started. The statutory consultation meeting is likely to be held at Stoke Park Primary School in the near future. This will give local people the opportunity to engage around the development of Trinity Academy and inform the design of the building. It’s important to say that Stoke Park Primary School senior leaders and governors, as well as CST and local councillors, have done as much as they can to ensure that the local community heard the news first. It was essential that the local community did not hear the news second hand and that is why several community meetings were organised a week before the official public announcement.

What could this do for Lockleaze?

The new school could bring a host of exciting opportunities and possibilities to Lockleaze, including:

Delivery of outstanding educational outcomes – CST have a proven track record here. The chance for local children to be supported further to excel in drama, dance and sport as well as in music, where CST have a renowned expertise. The strong possibility that local children, in particular children attending Stoke Park Primary School will feed into Trinity Academy. Trinity Academy will significantly add to the capacity of local schools to support local children and enrich their education. The local area will now have three great secondary schools. No school can be the perfect school for every single child – parents will now have more choice in finding the right school for their child.

Access to the new school and its facilities to the local community – despite the design being at an early stage, this is very much part of the stated vision. Working with local organisations to enable the new school to be part of the local community. 

More people coming into Lockleaze on a daily basis – this will have a positive effect on existing local businesses and could encourage more business start-ups in Lockleaze.

Raised profile – other areas are taking notice of what has happened over the past few years and is now happening in Lockleaze. Could this possibly put an end to the unwanted ‘forgotten estate’ label?

An investment of £25 million. At a time when funding for schools is scarce and services for children and families are being cut, an investment of this size has to be good news.

What are you going to do to work through any traffic issues due to construction and operation of the new school?

CST is working closely with Bristol City Council to ensure that a sustainable transport plan is in place, including access to the site via public transport, on foot and by bike. Further information on this will be available in due course following work on feasibility and planning and will need to feed into wider transport discussions regarding growth in housing in the Lockleaze area.

What happens next…?

Consultation, consultation, consultation. There will be a series of events focussed on consulting with the Lockleaze community. If you would like to be involved please e-mail enquiries@trinityacademybristol.org and express your interest. Also look out for further details via the post, social media and word of mouth. If you have any questions for the Stoke Park Primary School team please e-mail us at contactus@stokeparkschools.org.uk

If you are interested in your child joining the new school in year 7, please log your interest via the CST website: www.trinityacademybristol.org or e-mail enquiries@trinityacademybristol.org

Further information on the new school can be found at www.trinityacademybristol.org. Further information on the Cathedral Schools Trust can be found at www.cathedralschoolstrust.org