Work starts next month on Red Lodge’s new school

The proposed site for the new Red Lodge School enclosed in red. St Christopher's School is marked with a red star.
Map: Google Earth
The proposed site for the new Red Lodge School enclosed in red. St Christopher's School is marked with a red star. Map: Google Earth
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Work should start next month on a new £7.6 million primary school for Red Lodge and academy trusts have been invited to apply to run it.

Suffolk County Council began looking at trusts’ proposals this week and the plan is to open it in September 2018.

Sue Cook, Suffolk County Council director for children and young people, said: “We are very pleased to be moving forward with the establishment of the new school in Red Lodge. Contractors have been appointed and will be starting on site in the summer.

“The local authority is working with the Department for Education to find an academy sponsor to run the school when it opens.

“The new school will provide extra school places in Red Lodge and is being designed to expand in order to keep pace with new housing”.

Red Lodge’s current primary, St Christopher’s, opened in 2011 for 210 pupils and has doubled its capacity, but the county says the school is now full and cannot be expanded.

The county forecasts RedLodge will have 466 pupils by 2018 and 530 by 2020. The new school will initially be built for 210 pupils but will have space to double that.

The county council will provide the land and buildings for the first phase for 210 places plus early years provision with the cost be met through a mixture of its basic need funds and Section 106 contributions from developers.

Its specification for the school says: “Subsequent housing developments will be expected to provide funding for future growth through Section 106 agreements.”

The Council will provide a start-up allowance of £115,000 to cover the employment of a head teacher and administrative support ahead of the school opening.

A £5,000 setting up allowance will be made for each classroom for the desks, chairs and other equipment in each classroom in the school. The county will also pay £25,000 to cover the cost of establishing office and communal space.

The Department for Education currently provides £25,000 for legal expenses to the successful sponsor.

The specification says: “Sponsors must ensure the school plays a key role within its immediate community and the wider local economy.

“The school will be expected to provide access for community groups.”