Funding secured to progress new Lyde Green schools

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More than £30 million in Government funding has been secured to enable the new Lyde Green secondary school to be built.

The sum is in addition to the £11 million that South Gloucestershire Council has already committed to deliver new primary and secondary schools in Lyde Green.

While the Council is keen to see the new facilities built as quickly as possible, it does not have direct control over the programme of construction. Nevertheless, the Council is continuing to work closely with the two Multi Academy Trusts (MATs) that will run the new schools and the developer that will construct them to determine the schedule of work.

Cllr Erica Williams, South Gloucestershire Council’s Cabinet Member responsible for schools, said: “This announcement of the government’s funding commitment is excellent news and a major milestone towards building and opening the new schools.

“We appreciate the community are very keen to know when the schools will open and we will confirm the dates that work will begin, and when they will be open, as soon as we are in a position to do so.

“There will be survey work carried out on site in the coming months that will help finalise the plans, but meanwhile there is a lot of work going on behind the scenes to make this happen.”

The Olympus Academy Trust will run the secondary school and the Castle School Education Trust will run the primary school.

Dave Baker, Chief Executive of the Olympus Academy Trust Chief Executive, said: “The Olympus Academy Trust is delighted that the Department for Education and South Gloucestershire Council have reached agreement about funding so that we can now move to the next stage. A great deal of preparatory work has been taking place in the background, details of which we look forward to sharing in due course.”

Will Roberts, Chief Executive of the Castle School Education Trust, said: “We are pleased that progress is being made towards the construction of new schools, which will provide the much-needed extra primary and secondary places for the Lyde Green community. We are working closely with our partner organisations to achieve this at the earliest opportunity.”

The full programme is expected to be finalised in the Autumn, at which point the partners will share details of when work will begin, as well as the planned school opening dates. At this stage, we can say that the schools will not be open in September 2024 and that we anticipate the build programme will take approximately two years. The plan remains to build both new facilities at the same time and for them to have the same opening dates.

While the council continues to work hard with all its partners to deliver the new schools and school places as soon as possible, close collaboration with existing schools in the local area means that it can continue to be able to meet demand for places. This year, 96 per cent of families received an offer of a place at one of their preferred schools. Primary offers for the start of term in September 2023 will be confirmed with parents in April.

The latest data published by Ofsted shows that more than 90 per cent of pupils in South Gloucestershire attend schools rated Good or Outstanding.

There has been a significant improvement in Ofsted results in recent years, with more than 35,000 pupils currently attending Good or Outstanding schools.

It follows more than £118 million of investment by South Gloucestershire Council in schools since 2019, with boosting attainment levels being one of the Council’s top priorities.

A webpage to provide updates on progress towards the delivery of the new schools is available on the council website: www.southglos.gov.uk/LydeGreenSchools