Work starts on £4m secondary school expansion

Work to expand an outstanding Wollaton school has officially started.

New classrooms, an assembly hall and changing rooms are being created as part of a £4m development at The Fernwood School.

Overall intake at the secondary school, in Goodwood Road, will increase from 1,055 to 1,500 when all year groups are full – enabling more pupils to access the popular school within the next few years.

Older buildings have been demolished, including an old hall and gym, to allow the reconfiguration of an existing block as well as improvements to the site.

NMCN (formerly North Midlands Construction) is carrying out work on the expansion, while CBP Architects and GNA Surveyors are managing the project.

The Ofsted Outstanding-rated school is extremely popular and hugely over-subscribed. There is a clear need for additional secondary capacity in Wollaton, and Fernwood is committed to providing more places for its feeder schools and the local community.

Funding for the expansion was supported by Nottingham City Council, who helped secure £3m through the Government’s Condition Improvement Fund and also provided an additional £1m Basic Needs Funding contribution.

Fernwood Headteacher Paul Burke said: “I’m thrilled that work to expand our school is now underway. In recent years, there have been children in our catchment area who have not been able to secure a place at Fernwood. With this expansion, we shouldn’t have any more disappointed families.

“I’m proud that Fernwood is recognised as an Outstanding school by Ofsted and I know how popular we are with parents. We want to be able to offer places at our school for as many pupils as possible.”

The City Council has been planning since 2009 to increase school places and has invested more than £40m in expansion projects to boost capacity at city schools.

Councillor Neghat Khan, Portfolio Holder for Education and Skills at Nottingham City Council, said: “Parents rightly expect good school places, close to home, and that’s what we’ve been working hard to deliver.”

“To allow this project to happen, we were competing for funding with schools right across the country so for the bid to be successful shows just how important this expansion is.

“The council’s £1m contribution to the project again underlines our strategy of seeking to help Good and Outstanding-rated schools to expand where there is increasing demand.”

The expansion is due to be completed in the winter 2019/20.

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