Workmen still on-site at Northampton International Academy... but it is set to open on schedule today

Inside Northampton International Academy
Inside Northampton International Academy

Parents have been reassured that a new school in Barrack Road, Northampton, is ready despite the continuing presence of construction workers.

The former Royal Mail building is set to provide up to 2,200 school places along with a 400-seat theatre, a rooftop sports hall and classrooms available for out-of-hours community use.

The outside of the building, which opens today

The outside of the building, which opens today

For the past two years, the academy's first pupils have been schooled in temporary accommodation at the same site.

But, despite scaffolding on the outside perhaps suggesting otherwise, Northamptonshire County Council says all the facilities to enable pupils to start the new school year today are firmly in place.

A Northamptonshire County Council spokeswoman said: “We are pleased to say that the school is ready to open to the coming academic year’s full intake of around 800 pupils on Wednesday as planned, and staff have spent this week settling in to their new classrooms ready for the start of the new school year.

“The county council, the EMLC Academy Trust and the school itself are delighted with the modern facilities available in this fantastic new building and are very much looking forward to the start of the new term.”

The council said the work that is continuing around the site does not relate to the present intake of pupils, and is part of efforts to attain maximum capacity in 2021.

The spokeswoman said: “The full capacity of the school is 2,200 pupils, which will not be reached for three years.

"Therefore the whole building is not required at this time and so it was planned that around 10 per cent of the building would remain with the contractor to allow access to attend to the external areas and landscaping, and the removal of the temporary accommodation, without disruption to the new school."

Northampton International Academy is situated off the busy A508. However, the council estimates that 90 per cent of pupils will walk to and from school.