Cheltenham could get new secondary school

Leckhampton aerial shot re Balcarras new school

Plans for new Cheltenham school in Leckhampton are to be considered by Gloucestershire County Council.

In February this year, the county council announced that the school’s sponsor, Balcarras Academy Trust, was working to secure permission to temporarily accommodate the first year’s entrants to the new Cheltenham school on the Balcarras site from September 2021. This allowed the county council to carry out further ecological work before the planning application could be put forward to the committee.

New Secondary School LeckhamptonWith this additional work now complete, if approved, the brand new secondary school building, with a new all-weather pitch, sports playing fields and a multi-use games area, could open its doors to its new Year 7 pupils in 2022 – eventually providing much-needed school places for 900 pupils in Cheltenham aged 11 to 16 years old. The first intake of Year 7 pupils in 2021 will transfer across from the temporary site to the new site when complete.

Cllr Patrick Molyneux, cabinet member responsible for education, said: “This school will be a massive investment into the future of children in Cheltenham, and the surrounding area, and a key part of our £100m investment into schools across the county.  We are committed to putting in place real investment to support Gloucestershire’s students and teachers into the future.”

Dominic Burke, Head of Balcarras Trust, said: “Approval of planning permission will be a significant step forward for this project and I look forward to being able to progress with our plans for what will be a fantastic new school for Cheltenham.”

If the planning committee agrees the plans for the new school on Thursday, the final approval will be subject to the Secretary of State confirming he will not call-in the decision.

The county council and Balcarras continue to progress the temporary options for September 2021. A decision will be made well in advance of the October 2020 deadline for choosing a secondary school.