Contract for new Rotherham junior school to be put out to tender

The contract to build a junior school which will serve Rotherham’s newest community will now be put out to tender after the scheme was given the green light.

Monday, 18th February 2019, 20:32 pm
Updated Monday, 18th February 2019, 20:37 pm
Artist impressions of the new Waverley Junior Academy

Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council’s planning board has officially approved plans for Waverley Junior Academy, meaning that the search for a construction can now get underway.

The school, which will have a capacity of 420 pupils up to the age of 11, is being built to serve the wider Waverley community, a new development taking place on the outskirts of the town close to the Advanced Manufacturing Centre.

Artist impressions of the new Waverley Junior Academy

Families currently living in Waverley have to send their children to schools outside the area, however the Aston Community Education Trust (ACET) who will run the school said the new school will offer 21st century teaching within walking or cycling distance of their homes.

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The school has been designed so that a number of its facilities, including the space set aside for its breakfast club and purpose-built autism unity, can be opened to the community out of hours without the need for access to the main building itself.

Care has also been taken to ensure the building will blend into others around.

Aston Community Education Trust, who run 11 other primary and secondary schools in South Yorkshire and North-East Derbyshire, was appointed as the school’s sponsor two years ago.

Following its appointment, representatives from the Trust have played an active role in helping to finalise the plans, which have been drawn up by Rotherham Council officers and Ellis Williams architects.

Eunice Newton, CEO of ACET, said that the next step will be to appoint the company tasked with bringing the scheme to life.

She said: “Obtaining planning permission is a significant step that brings this exciting project one step closer and means that the construction contract can now be put out to tender.

“What makes the school unique is that much of the design work has been focussed on ensuring that it can be used by local groups as well as children and, as such, promises to be the pride of the whole community.

“The Waverley development is taking shape but there are currently no shared facilities, such as a community centre or local church, where people can come together in the evenings and on weekends.

“The school will make that possible, which is why we refer to it as the academy that never closes, and we’re looking forward to seeing how the community engage with the school out of hours when it’s open next year.”

Parents will be invited to apply for a place at the school in March next year, ahead of its official opening in September.