Monday, September 19, 2016

News: Waverley primary school could be STEM specialist

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In the shadow of the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP), a proposed new primary school on the Waverley development in Rotherham could be a specialist in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

Only the second primary school to be built in the borough in the last 25 years, the school will be built at Yorkshire's largest ever brownfield mixed-use development being brought forward by regeneration company Harworth Estates.

With 500 homes having already been built and occupied at the development, planning of the school has now begun in line with Waverley's outline planning consent.

The Council's Cabinet approved the commencement of procedures to establish the new school at its meeting in July and local residents, business leaders and prospective sponsors of the school have been contacted. Three stakeholder briefing events are being held this week.

The aim is to have a new state–of-the-art primary school built and ready for use by 2020. It is set to open as a one form entry school with 30 pupils until trigger points release further funding when the school will be expanded to a two form school.

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There is an Academy / Free School presumption for sponsoring the new school.

One organisation hoping to run the school is Willow Tree Academy, which sponsors Herringthorpe Junior School and Greasbrough Primary School in the borough. The academy trust is looking to take on other primary schools and intends to express an interest in the new Waverley Primary School.

In searching for new Member and Non-Executive Director with a background in science, technology and engineering, Willow Tree Academy states that it believes that it offers unique provision "that will enable the school to become a flagship school for STEM, both locally and nationally."

Cllr. Gordon Watson, deputy leader and cabinet member for children and young people's services at Rotherham Council, said: "The Waverley project is a crucial development for the borough and symbolises the confidence in the future regeneration of this part of Rotherham. The addition of this primary school will not only meet the needs for the surrounding community, but will also be a great opportunity to create a school with the newest and best facilities, particularly in close proximity to the our world class manufacturing facility at the Advanced Manufacturing Park, which we hope to make the most of."

The Waverley development was approved in 2010 and is the largest, most complex, planning application ever considered by Rotherham Council who gave outline approval for a new 3,890 home community across 741 acres.

The AMP on the site is the UK's premier advanced manufacturing park home to the likes of Rolls-Royce and University of Sheffield research institutions. It is also home to the University's AMRC Training Centre where 650 apprentices are expected to make use of the state of the art facilities in Rotherham during this academic year. The focus is on students aged from 16 upwards, taken on paid apprenticeships with opportunities to progress on to postgraduate courses, doctorates and MBA levels.

Waverley School website

Images: Harworth Estates


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