Firm picked to build new special school in Northamptonshire

An artist's impression of what the finished Daventry Hill School building will look like
An artist's impression of what the finished Daventry Hill School building will look like

A building firm has been appointed to construct the new special school in Daventry.

BAM Construction in the Midlands has been chosen as the preferred bidder to design and build the Daventry Hill School.

Daventry Hill School will be a new co-educational all-through school for pupils with special educational needs. It will be built on three acres of land adjacent to the Daventry University Technical College off Ashby Road.

The school will cater for pupils with mild to profound learning difficulties, including those with physical disabilities. Work has just commenced.

The school will make full use of specialist ICT hardware and software to ensure curriculum access for all pupils. There will also be a focus for older pupils on the development of their independent living skills.

Peter Burrell from Education Excellence for All Trust (EE4A) the school’s academy sponsor, said: “BAM’s bid demonstrated that it really understands the environment which we need to create for our pupils to feel safe in and to be inspired by, and with the spaces required to deliver specialist teaching and learning and care.

“Together with their architects, Hunters, the BAM team has developed the accommodation schedule and we are looking forward to seeing this come to fruition.”

Dave Ellis, construction director for BAM, said: “BAM is a leader in the field of building for education because we try to understand very precisely how the teachers and pupils will use their building and we consider carefully how the building’s design and construction can enhance their needs.

“It comes down to listening well, and understanding what they want. It’s therefore a significant achievement for us to have been appointed on this very particular challenge that provides not just an educational building but also a genuine life enhancing opportunity.”

This school, which is being built close to the town centre, will reduce the distance children need to travel to other special schools in Northampton and across the boundary into Warwickshire. It will form part of Daventry District Council’s learning quarter plan.

The school will open in September 2016 initially with pupils in Reception, Year 3, Year 7, Year 9 and Year 12. Numbers will then grow each year until 2019 when the school will be full with a total of 175 children.

Places at the new school will be principally commissioned by Northamptonshire County Council for children with statements for educational needs, including profound and multiple learning difficulties, severe learning difficulties, autistic spectrum disorder and sensory impairment.

Nearby, BAM has just finished work on The Other Place for the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford upon Avon, and is building Coventry University’s Science and Health Building. It was previously responsible for building Tresham Institute in Corby.