Brand new school planned at Ladysmith Junior

Posted on: 6 July 2015

Exciting plans have been unveiled for a brand new replacement school at Ladysmith Junior in Exeter.

The £2.3 million scheme would see the outdated buildings replaced with a modern design with facilities fit for 21st century learning.

The old buildings would then be demolished and the whole area landscaped with environmentally-friendly grounds.

The scheme will be paid for by the Government’s Education Funding Agency and is subject to final funding approval and planning permission.

A public information meeting will be held at the school from 3pm to 8pm on July 16 for anyone who wants to know more about the proposals.

Deputy head Mark Wilkinson, who takes over as acting head in September, said: “This is a really exciting opportunity to have purpose-built classrooms and facilities designed for 21st century learning.”

The scheme will provide 12 classrooms with a spacious hall, music and dance studio, ICT room and a kitchen to cook school meals on site. The facilities are being designed to accommodate community use.

Building work is scheduled to start next spring. Pupils would be taught in the former boys secondary school building during the first phase of construction and then move into their new buildings at Christmas 2016 so the remaining old school can be demolished and the grounds landscaped during the second phase which is due to finish in May 2017.

ladysmith school plans

Plans for the new school at Ladysmith Junior

Ian Gibson is overseeing the project for the school governors.

He said: “This is quite possibly the only opportunity we will have for some time to secure Government funding and ensure we have a modern learning environment for generations of children to come.

“The old buildings are getting increasingly difficult and expensive to maintain with the roof leaking in several places and serious accessibility issues.

“We want to be good neighbours and this public information meeting is being held well before the planning application is submitted later this year.

“We’ve also asked the Devon Wildlife Trust to come in and help to redesign our playground and the other outdoor spaces to make them a wildlife haven, more exciting paces to play and learn and a little slice of the countryside in an urban setting for our pupils and the neighbouring residents.”

Earlier this year inspectors from the school standards watchdog, Ofsted, rated Ladysmith Junior as good with outstanding features.

They said the quality of teaching, the achievement of pupils, the leadership and management and the behaviour and safety of the children were all good while the school’s work to keep pupils safe and secure was outstanding.

“All pupils achieve well,” said the inspectors. “Teaching … contributes greatly to pupils’ accelerated learning, progress and achievement.”

Mr Wilkinson said staff had been involved in the design of the new school.

“It means we will have a modern learning environment that matches the high quality teaching and pastoral care that we already offer,” he said.

“We will also use the rebuilding process to give the children some imaginative and creative learning opportunities and involve them in shaping their new school and its environment.”

Posted in: Education