Over the last few months we have been working hard to make a case for our school to be included in the Department for Education School Rebuilding Programme. The school rebuilding programme is undertaking major rebuilding and refurbishment projects at school and sixth-form college buildings across England, prioritised according to their condition. You can read more about this by following this link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/school-rebuilding-programme/school-rebuilding-programme
This week we were absolutely delighted to be informed that we have been included in the third wave of the roll out of this project, which will mean brand new school buildings here at Wellfield.
The first two waves had 50 schools in each. The first wave included another secondary school in our family of schools (in Endeavour Learning Trust - ELT), Tarleton Academy. This brand new school building is due to be opened in Easter 2023 and we are bringing all the experience of that new build project to this exciting development. This third wave includes a further 61 projects schools.
In the five years that we have been in partnership with ELT, we have worked hard to make the school as appealing a learning environment as we could. We always maintained that it is our students and staff who really make the place shine, and that remains the case. Nonetheless, we have always tried our hardest to make the best of the buildings we have. This has been difficult at times given the significant limits to school budgets, but we have done our best and we are proud of our efforts.
That said, we are delighted with this news, which is a huge announcement and very exciting for our school community.
These rebuilds and refurbishments are planned to create modern education environments, with brand new facilities. The schools are also planned to be much greener, with a zero carbon emissions target We are so pleased that in the next few years our students and staff will have access to modern, state-of-the-art facilities.
The next phase will involve further surveys to establish if any of our current building are worth retaining and how much of a complete rebuild we will be entitled to. We suspect we will retain our sports hall, but very little else. The new buildings will be located on another part of the existing site and shouldn’t interfere with the smooth running of our existing school. We will also be very mindful of the impact on our neighbours and careful planning will ensure that the new buildings will be an improvement for everyone in the local community.
Obviously, we take our role as a centre for the community very seriously and these new facilities will also enable us to provide improved opportunities for all our primary partners along with a continued and ever developing out of hours’ community provision for the good of all.
The Chair of our Governing Body, Mrs Helen Dicker MBE, on hearing the news said:
“Wellfield Academy prides itself on the quality of its provision and it is great news that the school will get the improved quality of buildings to enable the staff and students within the school to continue to flourish and thrive. We look forward to working with the School and Trust to help in the smooth delivery of this very exciting development.”
We know that money is tight everywhere, particularly in education, and we know how very privileged we are to be included in this programme. As with the Tarleton project, we will be heavily involved in the detailed planning of the new school and will bring the experience we have gained over the last two years to this fantastic new development.