New Northampton International Academy on Royal Mail site will ‘prepare pupils for life in modern Britain’, says childcare minister

  • The £20 million school will open on the site of the former Royal Mail building in the town centre
  • It will open to reception, year one and year seven in September 2016
  • Facilities and teachers will be shared with the current Castle Academy

A new free school in Northampton will “prepare pupils for life in modern Britain”, a Government minister said on a visit there today.

Childcare minister Sam Gyimah met with owners of EMLC Academy Trust, which will sponsor the new Northampton International Academy, which will be built on the site of the former Royal Mail building in Barrack Road.

Childcare minister Sam Gyimah (centre) with EMLC chair George Gyte and CEO Jan Marshall

Childcare minister Sam Gyimah (centre) with EMLC chair George Gyte and CEO Jan Marshall

The £20 million transformation will be ready for September 2016 to reception and years one and seven, before eventually taking pupils from two through to 19 years old by 2022.

This morning’s visit took place at the next door Castle Academy in St George’s Street, which will share facilities and teachers with the new school when it opens and work in partnership with the University of Northampton.

Mr Gyimah said: “A school like this will not only increase the amount of basic educational provisions for the local community, but it involves the parents of pupils to find out what they want for their children.

“Having an all-through school like this makes the transition for pupils into the next stage of learning easier, and the involvement of the university and languages will really help to prepare these children for life in modern Britain.”

A school like this will not only increase the amount of basic educational provisions for the local community, but it involves the parents of pupils to find out what they want for their children

Sam Gyimah, childcare minister

George Gyte, EMLC chairman, said: “This will be a tremendous opportunity for both schools, as they will be able to share all sorts of facilities, from trained language teachers and administration to the theatre and gymnasium we are planning for the new site.

“The international aspect is a particular focus because pupils from this area speak about 29 languages between them. We have spoken to parents at length and this is of key importance to them.”

Plans for the new school include a new car park and EMLC are in discussions with Northampton Borough Council to section off an area of the Racecourse for pupils to use as sports facilities, as well as space at the current Castle Academy.

Jan Marshall, CEO of EMLC, said: “There is the possibility that both schools could evolve into one unit, but ultimately we are about the local community, high academic achievement and employment opportunities, so we will continue to focus on that.”

Childcare minister Sam Gyimah playing football at Castle Academy

Childcare minister Sam Gyimah playing football at Castle Academy