EMLC Academy Trust launches proposal for new school on former Royal Mail site in Northampton

Castle Primary School, St Georges Street, Northampton. ENGNNL00120120409174128
Castle Primary School, St Georges Street, Northampton. ENGNNL00120120409174128

An academy trust that sponsors three primary schools in Northampton has announced plans to create a new ‘all-through’ school on the site of a former Royal Mail sorting office in the town.

The EMLC Academy Trust, which is based in Olney and was set up in July 2012, would like to run a new school on the Barrack Road site, which has been bought by the Education Funding Agency.

Northamptonshire County Council has held a consultation on plans for a £20million project to convert the site into a secondary school, as well as a commuity space and possible commercial unit, and potential sponsors have been invited to submit bids to the Department for Education.

The EMLC Academy Trust would like to sponsor the new school and build on links with nearby Castle Academy school in St Georges Street, a school it took over in January this year.

EMLC will be launching their proposal for the Barrack Road school, to be called the Northampton International Academy, to councillors and the local community during a consultation at Castle Academy on Thursday.

A spokesperson has said the trust’s proposal can be summarised in three words: “Transforming Life Chances”.

EMLC plan to live up to these with a 10-point proposal, which will include focus on quality teaching staff, vocational and specialist subjects, language learning and strong partnerships with parents, local businesses and the community.

EMLC Academy Trust chief executive, Jan Marshall, said: “We have been working closely with Northamptonshire County Council and the Department for Education about this exciting proposal to combine Castle Academy with this new academy proposal, for the benefit of pupils from all ages to be educated on one site.

“The local authority has been aware for some time that there is a need for a new secondary school in the town and to offer new all-through provision, with a strong focus on academic subjects, is something we know parents will be very excited by.”

The new development on the Barrack Road site itself will see 1500 new secondary places opened for local pupils, with 420 primary places and 250 Post 16 places.

The Department for Education, who purchased the site, have invited sponsors to submit a Free School proposal before October and the new academy is scheduled to open in September 2016.

Parents who would like to register their interest and give their views on the proposl download a questionnaire from: www.emlcacademytrust.co.uk. Further parental consultation sessions are planned to take place at Castle Academy on 25 June and 17 July from 3.15pm. For more information, contact: rebecca.pinney@emlcacademytrust.co.uk.