Construction of a new secondary school at Uplands Farm in Hedge End is soon to begin, with contractors Kier now preparing the site on Woodhouse Lane ahead of construction of the school buildings, scheduled for later this year.
Hampshire County Council’s Executive Member for Education and Skills, Councillor Roz Chadd said: “This much-needed secondary school will fulfil existing demand for school places that have been required across the local area in Hedge End and Botley for some time, providing a brand new, well-equipped school with modern facilities, close to where pupils live.
“With outline planning permission recently granted for a new sustainable community at Uplands Farm, the secondary school design also creates the capacity for projected future increases in pupil numbers. This is an exciting opportunity for us to address local needs now, and also plan effectively for pupils of the future.”
Hampshire County Council has been commissioned to oversee the design and construction of the school by the Department for Education (DfE). The County Council is working in partnership with Wildern Academy Trust, who has been appointed by the Secretary of State for Education as the sponsor of the new free school which will be known as Deer Park School. The school will initially accommodate 120 Year 7 pupils and grow to 1,050 when at full capacity. The school is expected to be complete by September 2021.
Once built, the Deer Park School will form part of the Wildern Academy Trust. Speaking on behalf of the Trust, Wildern Academy School’s Executive Headteacher, Marie Lou Litton, said: “Wildern is delighted to be opening another new school within the Trust. Our driving principle has always been to provide high quality teaching and learning for the children within our community. As the basic need provision increases, we are committed and determined to build on our excellent track record and ensure that all young people within our catchment receive the best opportunities and experiences possible at Deer Park our new school.
“We are confident that the strong partnership we have with Hampshire County Council will provide the perfect learning environment for our new generation of learners, and we look forward to shaping this with the County Council.”
The newly secured planning permission for the development of the Uplands Farm land west of Woodhouse Lane has enabled the construction of the new secondary school to begin, as well as providing outline approval for up to 605 new homes, together with public open spaces, community sports land, a local centre, additional rights of way and highway infrastructure.
The highway access works to support the opening of Deer Park School will also include new and improved pedestrian and cycle links for the community. Work is expected to commence on these new links towards the end of 2020.
Councillor Chadd added: “I am very pleased that the design of the new school has benefited from the expertise and experience of the County Council’s Property Services team. I am confident this will result in a quality, value-for-money build and, perhaps more importantly, excellent spaces for children to learn, grow in confidence and achieve.”