The first satellite school in Buckinghamshire is to open in Aylesbury in September 2018.
Plans for the first satellite school, an extension of St Michael’s Catholic School in High Wycombe, was approved by Mike Appleyard, Buckinghamshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, on Wednesday 6th September 2017.
The former Quarrendon school site in Aylesbury has been chosen as the location for the location of the new satellite school.
Building work is expected to start in summer 2018 however construction work will not be finished until 2019 so the school will open in September 2018 with a Year 7 intake of 120 in the former Bierton Hill Day Centre, which will be refurbished, before the school moves to the permanent site a year later.
The satellite plan is a partnership between Buckinghamshire County Council, St Michael’s governors and trustees and the Diocese of Northampton. The school would cater for students between 11 and 19 and grow over time to six forms of entry.
The decision follows public consultations that generated up to 99% support. Mike Appleyard said: ‘There has been extremely strong support for St Michael’s satellite, a level of response rarely seen in such consultations.
Faith schools do deliver good results and by and large parents like them. We’ve taken account of the way people in Aylesbury feel and I hope we’ll be providing a school they will welcome.‘
With housing growth in the coming five years, Mike said an additional 12 forms of secondary school entry would be needed in Aylesbury Vale, the equivalent of two schools. The satellite school would provide half of this need.
The £1 million cost of refurbished buildings at Bierton Hill and £22m construction cost of new buildings on the Quarrendon site will come from Department for Education basic need funding and housing developer contributions.
Head teacher Garret Fay said he was very pleased to be in a position to open the St Michael’s satellite at Aylesbury and thanked parents, the Buckinghamshire Catholic Schools Partnership and the County Council’s school expansion team for their support.
‘The use of Bierton Hill ensures that pupils will be educated in a safe and secure learning environment, while building work at the Quarrendon site progresses,‘ he said. ‘I’m looking forward to meeting prospective pupils and parents in the near future to share our designs and plans for 2018 and beyond.‘