13:17 Friday 13 December 2013

Expansion for high school in £1.4 million boost

Written byHELEN KREFT

TEN extra classrooms could be created to cope with a school’s growing sixth form in a £1.4 million extension.

The de Ferrers Academy’s Trent Campus, in St Mary’s Drive, has now applied to East Staffordshire Borough Council for permission to build a two storey new teaching block next to its existing sports hall.

If plans are approved, the school will extend its footprint by 960 sq m which will also include one large ICT suite, as well as the ten classrooms.

Steve Allen, the academy’s principal said the extension will provide room for its growing sixth form numbers.

He said: “It is a simple question of the pressure of growth.

“We have increased our pupil numbers from 325 to 350 which was agreed with the local authority to meet the growth within Burton.

“However, the number of sixth formers will increase from 300 to 400. Because of our good results, we are finding that more pupils are staying on to sixth form.

“We have been looking at (these plans) ever since I have been principal which is coming up to two years in January as it is quite clear that the school is growing and the vast majority of Year 11 pupils have indicated that they would like to stay on at sixth form.”

The school is applying for funding to the Department for Education via the Academies Capital Maintenance Fund due to the on going expansion of the academy.

The design of the new teaching block seeks to significantly improve the existing teaching facilities at the school, which is currently struggling to meet the needs of it’s growing upper school and sixth form.

The proposed new teaching block height is 9m with a low pitched roof to match the existing adjacent sports hall. The block will provide a total of 960 sq m of gross internal floor area comprising of 10 new standard sized classrooms, one new large classrooms for ICT and three offices.

Mr Allen added: “The extension will also enable us to include new courses. At the moment we will aim to have two or three groups together in the traditional areas such as English and maths.”

Should it be approved, the school is looking to start building work in April and for the centre to be open by September 2015.

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