Over 100 new places created at popular Bristol secondary school
Bristol City Council has been working with Redland Green School and construction partners Skanska to create 135 extra places at the school in the north of the city.
The expansion forms part of the works taking place under the new Integrated Education Capital Strategy, which sets out plans to provide more school places in Bristol across all settings over the next few years. The strategy was recently agreed by the council and key partners at the Learning City Partnership Board, ensuring the city adopts a holistic approach to education places.
Redland Green School is one of the most popular in Bristol and the new buildings will allow the school to take 27 extra pupils a year for the next five years, easing demand for places in the surrounding area.
Paul Jacobs, director of education at Bristol City Council, said:
“Demand for school places in Bristol is increasing, so it’s important that we act now to stay ahead of the curve. As a Learning City we’re committed to improving learning opportunities for everyone and we’re working with partners to create high quality classrooms and environments which inspire pupils to love learning.”
To expand Redland Green School, Skanska built 27 new modular units offsite using a process which is greener, quicker and safer than traditional methods. The classrooms are an exact match with the existing school, featuring timber cladding and curved roofs.
Skanska’s Bristol director, John Brennan, said:
“This is now a tried and tested method of building strong, durable classrooms which can be tailored to the requirements of individual schools. By building offsite we are able to minimise disruption to the school, with all major installation work being carried out during the school holidays.”
Sarah Baker, headteacher at Redland Green School, said:
“Demand for places at our school is high so I’m delighted that we are now able to welcome more students each year. The classrooms were already built when they arrived at the school and installed over the Easter break, so the process has been very easy.”
This is one of the first essential schemes to get underway as part of the new Integrated Education Capital Strategy, which looks at where places will be needed most across secondary schools, early years and specialist settings, including for students with social, emotional and mental health needs.
With an expanding city population it is estimated that 18 new forms of entry for secondary school places will be needed by 2019 along with more places for two, three and four- year-olds as well as pupils with special educational needs.
The new strategy follows on from the recent primary school expansion programme, under which the council has been working with partners to provide 10,000 additional places by 2017.