School capacity planning in Bicester – a consultation from Oxfordshire County Council.
Bicester is one of the biggest growth areas within Oxfordshire. The Cherwell Local Plan includes over 10,000 new homes to be built in the town by 2031. This scale of growth requires significant investment in additional school capacity. This will include new primary schools within the Kingsmere, Graven Hill, SE Bicester and NW Bicester developments, and new secondary schools within the Kingsmere and NW Bicester.
The first phases of this additional capacity are already complete or underway. Firstly, St Edburg’s CE Primary School relocated to Kingsmere and expanded in 2016, and Longfields Primary School expanded in 2017. The first new school – Gagle Brook Primary School in NW Bicester – opened in 2018, and a new secondary school opens in Kingsmere in 2020. A new primary school is due to open in Graven Hill in 2021. In addition, new or expanded capacity at schools surrounding Bicester provide more options for families in the area.
The next step in ensuring sufficient school places in Bicester is to complete the planned school provision for the Kingsmere development in SW Bicester. This development includes sites for two primary schools – the first now occupied by St Edburg’s CE Primary School – and a secondary school – Whitelands Academy, opening this year. How the remaining additional primary school capacity should be provided is the subject of this consultation.
Options for Kingsmere’s primary school capacity
The county council has secured the site and funding to build more primary school capacity within the Kingsmere development. The original intention was that a separate new primary school would be built on the second primary school site. This would be an academy, and the county council would run a competition to identify an academy trust to run the new school, as it has for the other new schools in Bicester.
The county council is now considering an alternative way of providing the additional capacity. Instead of opening a separate new school, another option would be to expand St Edburg’s CE (VA) Primary School onto a second site. The school would then divide its pupils and staff across the two sites, for example with Nursery, Reception and Key Stage 1 on the new site and Key Stage 2 on the existing site.
The county council is seeking your views on these options. Further information is available here: Kingsmere Primary School Options
Please read the information provided on this consultation. Your views and opinions matter. Please take the time to respond here.
The consultation closes
13 Jul 2020 at 23:59