Transforming Education - Update

Transforming Education - Update

Update on Hertswood plans for a new Academy

Last term, Hertswood Academy, sponsored by the Meller Educational Trust announced its plans to transform secondary education in Borehamwood, Elstree, Shenley, Radlett and surrounding areas, by building a brand new academy on the Lower Site in Cowley Hill. This will be financed by selling the Upper Site in Thrift Farm Lane for residential housing and will also help the Borough Council to reach its target of new homes in the area without having to encroach into the green belt. The new academy will provide facilities that are at the cutting edge of new developments in education. This is what our community deserves.

This is a complex project and we want to make sure we get it right. We have therefore decided to re-schedule our plans to allow more time for consultation before submitting the planning applications.

We now expect planning applications to be submitted in June 2014 for the (i) new academy, (ii) temporary classrooms that we will need and (iii) residential development on the Upper Site. We will be engaging closely with the Borough Council to make sure that public consultation undertaken as part of the planning process is very wide ranging and thorough. Further details about the consultation will be announced soon.

We hope the planning applications will be successful so we can start to move students to our very large Lower Site from as early as possible in 2015 and complete this process before the end of term in July 2015. The plans are for the new academy to be ready in June 2017 so that in September 2017 all the students can move in. It is important to mention that, throughout the building project, we will continue to raise standards across the academy following our highest ever examination results this year.

In all our discussions to date we have been very clear that we will provide a first class community theatre and community sports facilities as part of the new academy on the Lower Site. We are also looking at ways to minimise the gap between the existing community facilities and the new ones being opened and are working with the Borough Council to manage this as effectively as possible. This re-scheduling will also enable us to keep the current community theatre open longer, into 2015, but we are not yet sure of the precise date when it will need to close. We are continuing to look at our schedule for vacating the upper site and will be fine tuning exact dates as the planning process develops and will make further announcements in due course.

Before any formal consultation begins, Governors at Hertswood Academy would be pleased to receive any further comments so that they can be taken into account as the project is explored. Please email newbuild@hertswoodacademy.org with your comments, or write to us at Hertswood Academy Lower Site, Cowley Hill, Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, WD6 5LG.

David Meller - Sponsor, Graham Taylor - Chair of Governors, Peter Gillett - Headteacher