School Building News
First published on 10th July 2015 in issue 60 of the Federation Newsletter. Newsletters are sent to subscribers and ALL parents/carers of students at The White Hills Park Federation Trust, for whom we hold a valid email address, They also published on the Alderman White School, The Bramcote School and Bramcote College websites for a minimum period of 6 months from the date of issue. Archive copies of The Federation Newsletter are available on request.
I have written before about the poor quality of much of our school building stock and the impact it has on our daily organisation, our budget and in some cases, our ability to deliver aspects of the curriculum. As you know, it is our ambition and intention to rebuild completely Bramcote College and The Bramcote School, and to rebuild parts of Alderman White and substantially refurbish all other areas. Over the course of the last year, I have had many discussions with parents and other interested parties about how the plans were taking shape, and what the next steps are. We have explored all possible sources of funding, including all applications for grant funding.
We have established a Directors’ group who have taken responsibility for leading the project. We have met with local community groups on a number of occasions to set out our plans, including the Bramcote Community Action Team and the Bramcote Hills Community Association. We have had a productive dialogue with our partners on the Bramcote campus, Foxwood School and Bramcote Hills Primary School to establish a mutually beneficial plan.
We have met with local politicians to keep them informed about our plans and have received advice and support. This dialogue continues and develops, particularly in the light of recent political changes. We have also been in regular discussion with Borough and County planners who have given us helpful guidance. We have taken part in the Green Belt consultation process, and have given our support for the elements of the proposals that directly affect the Federation.
We have established relationships with potential commercial partners who will work with us to sell the land that will fund the project, and design and build the new school buildings. We have established the value of land in the Federation. We have also worked with architects to do some outline planning for the new buildings.
We have identified the location of our new school buildings: The Bramcote School and Bramcote College, will be located on the College land below the current main College building – they will remain separate entities but will share some facilities e.g. kitchens, admin offices. We have a staged programme to replace and refurbish buildings at Alderman White, beginning with the construction of a new English, Humanities and admin block at the front of the site.
As you will be aware, we intend to sell some land for development to provide the funding for the project. Following advice from experts and consultation with our local community, the land we have identified is the playing fields on Coventry Lane. The reasons for this choice are the fact that this is not an area that is currently used by students so curriculum impact would be negligible, particularly given that we are about to take possession of some new high-quality playing fields adjacent to the Bramcote College site; the fact that our discussions with the local community have indicated that this is the option favoured by the majority; the fact that the location and geography of this piece of land makes it particularly suitable for development and will therefore realise the largest receipts.
Ove the next year, the project will move forward:
- Working with architects will develop our detailed plans for the new schools over the next two terms, ready for a planning application as soon as the funding is secured;
- We will continue to work with the community to ensure that our plans are sensitive to local people, and that we can provide a wonderful resource for the local area. We hope this include facilities such as a theatre, floodlit multi use games facilities, football pitches and other sports facilities, meeting rooms and so on;
- We will continue to work with planners and politicians to ensure that our plans fit into the wider picture;
- We will formalise our commercial partnerships in order to provide the funding.
I have been hugely encouraged by the support we have had from parents, and the excitement it has generated. The prize of wonderful school buildings for your children and the generations that will follow them is a great motivation for us to bring this to fruition.