Plans to double size of Northampton primary school over next seven years

Plans have been announced to double the size of Hardingstone Academy
Plans have been announced to double the size of Hardingstone Academy

A primary school on the outskirts of Northampton could double in size over the next seven years to provide more places for the children of families living in the new estates in the area.

Plans have been announced to expand Hardingstone Academy, which was taken over by the EMLC Trust in January 2014, from 210 pupils to 420 pupils, starting with 30 additional school places in September 2015.

Before becoming an academy the school had been judged “inadequate” by Ofsted and was placed in special measures in April 2013.

Since EMLC took over the school, it has appointed a new principal, Zoe McIntyre, and the number of pupils achieving level four or above in reading, writing and maths at the end of Year 6 has increased by three per cent to 80 per cent.

The new classrooms would be built on the existing site of Hardingstone Academy.

George Gyte, chair of the Hardingstone Governing Body, said “We are delighted that Hardingstone Academy has been selected as an option for expansion. “This recognises the improvements that have been made over the past year and EMLC is keen to provide an excellent educational opportunity to serve the increasing number of pupils in the Hardingstone and Wootton Fields area.”

Councillor Matthew Golby, county council cabinet member for learning, skills and education, said the council had identified a need for more school places in the area.

He said: “We have created an additional 4,200 primary school places in Northampton since 2010 to cope with increased demand.

“We have identified that there is a need for extra capacity at Hardingstone Academy due to new housing developments in the local area, and we are delighted to be working with the EMLC Academy Trust to provide these new school places.”

Zoe McIntyre, the principal at Hardingstone Academy, said “I am delighted with the proposal to expand Hardingstone Academy.

“As a small school, we currently have limited resources to provide the full range of activities and wide curriculum offer.

“A larger school would enable us to extend our range of activities and offer a much wider curriculum for our children. This expansion as proposed will enhance the provision for all pupils and means Hardingstone children do not have to travel out of the area to get a primary school place.”