New First School for Redditch

New First School for Redditch

The school will be delivered by Worcestershire County Council

On 23 November 2023, Cabinet approved that a new First School in Foxlydiate Redditch will be built to address the impact of new housing.

Why do we need a new school? 

New housing being built in the Foxlydiate area will attract families with children, and this will create a demand for additional childcare and school places. The scale of the forecast increased demand means that a new first school is needed. 

The new major housing development off Foxlydiate Lane will deliver 2,560 new houses by 2037. Worcestershire County Council is proposing that the new school will open initially as a 2-form-entry (60 places per year group) in 2027, when it is forecast that 30 children in each school year group will live on the new development, increasing to over 60 by 2030. The school will open initially to Reception-aged children and will grow over time as it will take a new cohort of Reception children each September. 

The number of children is predicted to double by the time the development is completed and fully occupied, so the school will be built to a model that can easily be expanded to include additional classrooms when they are needed. There are other housing developments in the area, each attracting more families with children, so there will be increased demand on places at existing schools nearby, and this is being monitored carefully to ensure that the right number of additional places will be created in the right places at the right time. Additional middle and high school places required for pupils from the new development will be created by expanding existing local schools.

The delivery of a new school in the Foxlydiate area will ensure sufficient places in the locality and ensure an element of surplus which will ensure that: 

  • families have an element of choice, and increases the likelihood that families receive one of their top two preferences 
  • all children who move into the locality during the school year are offered provision within 20 days; and 
  • all children who want to access a place in their local community are able to do so, reducing school travel times 

The delivery of a new school provides an opportunity to build on the existing ‘Good’ first school provision in Redditch and offers more choice of schools, which is important to support our children and young people in achieving good attainment and realising their full potential. 

Open engagement and consultations

There are currently no open engagement or consultations on the new first school for Foxlydiate, Redditch.

Previous engagement and consultations

Public consultation 8 January to 25 February 2024

Following feedback from the public engagement, Worcestershire County Council sought views on the proposals for the new school. These included:

  • the age range of the school
  • the size of the school
  • the values of the school 
  • the build principles of the school

This round of consultation closed on Sunday 25 February 2024 and the results will be available shortly.

Download: Foxlydiate First School Consultation Document (PDF)
Download: Background Information and School Specification (PDF)

Public Engagement 4 July to 4 August 2023

This engagement marked the first opportunity to gather views about the potential development of a new school First School for Redditch.

A total of 183 responses were received to an online survey and the findings will influence and shape how the school works, what it will look like, and how it will work within the local community.

Download: Foxlydiate First School engagement results

Academy Sponsor Competition

The school will be delivered by Worcestershire County Council and run by an Academy Sponsor. The process to appoint the Academy Sponsor will open mid-April and will follow the Department for Education (DfE) Free School Presumption Process. Academies must be registered as a multi-academy trust to apply.

Interested sponsors must first register on In-Tend before they can express an interest in any opportunity from the Council. Download the guide below for details on how to register. 

Download: In-Tend Registration Guide (PDF)

What’s happening next?

•    Stage one: establishing the need for a new school – Completed May 2023 
•    Stage two: engagement with stakeholders and residents – Completed August 2023 
•    Stage three: consultation on school specification – Completed February 2024
•    Stage four: academy sponsor competition  
•    Stage five: design team procurement 
•    Stage six: planning application submission 
•    Stage seven: construction commences 
•    Stage eight: academy pre-opening phase and consultation 
•    Stage nine: school opens 

Frequently asked questions - Foxlydiate First School

Why do we need another school?

New housing being built in the Foxlydiate area will attract families with children, and this will create a demand for additional childcare and school places. The scale of the forecast increased demand means that a new first school is needed.

Why is the funding not being invested in existing schools?

The scale of the forecast increased demand means that a new first school is needed, and the new places created need to be within walking distance of the new housing.

The new school is being funded from planning obligation contributions from the housing developer – planning rules require housing developers to pay for any infrastructure changes which are required as a result of their development, and this infrastructure includes education places. This money is ring-fenced for construction of the new school only, and so cannot be spent on existing schools.

How big will the school be?

The school is likely to open as a 60 place per year group school plus a nursery, with room to expand by another 30 places to accommodate further housing growth.

Why are you not building another high or middle school?

Evidence from previous large housing developments shows that fewer middle and secondary age children move into this type of new housing. The lower numbers of older pupils do not justify the addition of another middle or high school, and they can more easily be accommodated in existing schools. Current forecasting across the next 5 years suggests there are sufficient High School places in Redditch to accommodate the additional children from this development, however WCF are monitoring numbers closely to plan where and when additional middle and high school places need to be created. 

Where is the site?

The school will be located on land to the West of Foxlydiate Lane and Pumphouse Lane on the Redditch and Bromsgrove District border.

When is the school due to open?

Practical completion and centre opening of the school is targeted as summer 2027. This is subject to the build out rate and occupation of the new houses.

Who will be constructing the proposed development?

Worcestershire County Council will run a tender to procure a construction contractor, in accordance with WCC’s procurement procedures.

Who will operate the school?

The school will be run by an Academy Sponsor. The appointment of the Academy Sponsor will follow the Department for Education (DfE) Free School Process.

How much traffic will the development generate?

The proposals will generate staff car movements and parents dropping off and picking up children. The new school will primarily serve children living on the neighbouring new housing development, and the local catchment of the school is expected to result in a high proportion of children walking and cycling to school with only a small proportion driven to school. A full Transport Assessment will be submitted as part of the planning application.

Will the school offer provision for pupils with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)? 

It is expected that the chosen Academy Sponsor must have a strong ethos and evidence of effective practice to ensure inclusivity of all pupils and staff, and ensure all pupils are able to access the curriculum, quality first teaching (QFT) and high-quality teaching. This must include making appropriate reasonable adjustments for pupils with SEND, vulnerable learners and Looked after Children. 

Why will it be a first school and not a primary school?

The site of the Foxlydiate housing development sits within the Bromsgrove district boundary, yet borders Redditch borough. The new housing development sits within the catchment areas of Tardebigge First School,  Birchensale Middle School and Trinity High School and Sixth Form.  We would therefore expect the majority of pupils from the new housing to choose to transition into the Middle and High school from which their homes will be in catchment for.

Why are you not building a special school?

The Department for Education (DfE) expects local authorities to seek developer contributions towards school places that are required to meet the need arising from new housing developments. Any contribution towards education provision will be relative to the expected pupil yield from the number of dwellings being delivered. The Foxlydiate development was assessed pre-2019 for the infrastructure contributions required to mitigate the impact of the new development. At this time, the local authority Education Planning Obligations Policy only included seeking contributions towards mainstream education mitigation, therefore no contribution was sought towards additional specialist/special school provision. Post-2019 the Education Planning Obligations Policy was amended to seek contributions for Early Years provision and SEND provision, based on projected pupil yields.

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