14/12/2020 - Permalink

Major plans for a new primary school at Bowbrook, Shrewsbury take big step forward

Related topics: Children's services / Partner organisations

Major plans for a new primary school at Bowbrook in west Shrewsbury are set to take a big step forward after Shropshire Council’s Cabinet today (Monday 14 December 2020) agreed the appointment of The 3-18 Education Trust as operator of the school. This is now subject to a meeting of the regional Headteacher Board on Thursday 17 December.

The Trust has emerged as the preferred provider, from the six Trusts that applied.

The new free school will be co-located with a new special school – and it’s hoped that both will open in September 2022.

Shropshire Council is to fund the construction of the primary school, with the special school being funded by the Department for Education. The land has been given to the council by developers who are building homes all around the site in the west of Shrewsbury.

In line with the DfE’s guidance, a specification to operate the new school was drawn up, and – in July 2020 – applications were sought from potential providers. Six detailed submissions were received and, following the assessment and interview process, council officers recommended The 3-18 Education Trust to Cabinet.

The Trust is made up of the following academies: The Priory School, Coleham Primary School, St Martins School and Thomas Adams School.  William Brookes School in Much Wenlock are currently looking to join the Trust early in 2021, subject to DfE approval.

Shropshire Council will be recommending The 3-18 Education Trust as its preferred proposer to the Regional Schools Commissioner who, on behalf of the Secretary of State for Education, will make the final decision on whether they will enter into a funding agreement with the Trust.

Ed Potter, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for children’s services, said:

“These two new schools are an important and exciting development as we look to meet the ever-growing demand for school places in that area of Shrewsbury – but this really is good news for the whole of Shropshire.

“Approval of the operator for the primary school is a vital step towards its opening. Having completed the application process The 3-18 Education Trust has emerged as the preferred choice.

“The process for choosing the operator of the new special school is still underway, but with the number of pupils with SEND requirements – both in Shropshire and nationally – rising steadily, this is a chance to build a school catering for those pupils which would complement provision already in place in the county.”

Michael Barratt, CEO of The 3-18 Education Trust, said:

“This is a very exciting project to be invited to sponsor. The 3-18 Education Trust has two schools already in Shrewsbury – The Priory School and Coleham School – and we are therefore very familiar with the catchment area, the students, parents/carers and local community who are likely to attend the new school. We are looking forward to a close partnership with the local authority, in building the ethos and values of the school, and to working with all those involved in it to make it an excellent school at the centre of its community.”

Gary Turner, the Chair of Trustees, said:

“I am delighted that The 3-18 Education Trust has been selected locally as the preferred provider of the new free school in Bowbrook, Shrewsbury, following a thorough application process. Our Board feels that this school will be an excellent fit with the ethos and strategy of our Trust as an inclusive provider of education. We look forward to working with the local authority, Department for Education and local residents to provide an outstanding school for this area. We are privileged to have been recommended and look forward, once selected as the provider, to bring the new school into existence.”