One of Bristol’s popular secondary schools, Redland Green, has welcomed its first additional class of pupils after the school was successfully expanded in time for the start of the term.
Thanks to a partnership between Bristol City Council, the school and construction partners Skanska, 135 extra places have been created within a tight time frame, enabling Redland Green School to take 27 extra pupils per year for the next five years. The expansion will help to ease demand for secondary places in the north of the city where the school is located.
To expand Redland Green School, Skanska built 27 new modular units offsite using a process which is greener, quicker and safer than traditional methods. The classrooms are an exact match with the existing school, featuring timber cladding and curved roofs.
Mayor of Bristol, Marvin Rees, said:
“Increasing the number of high quality school places in Bristol is one of our priorities and we are working hard with partners and schools across the city to make this happen. Giving all students access to a strong education and equal opportunities is important to me and this latest project adds another piece of the puzzle.”
Councillor Claire Hiscott, cabinet member for education and skills, said:
“With Bristol’s education system on the rise and demand for school places increasing it’s great to see this project, which is at one of Bristol’s ‘outstanding’ schools, completed. The council and its partners are committed to providing high quality school places, and improving learning opportunities for everyone, which is one of our principal aims in being a Learning City.”
Sarah Baker, headteacher at Redland Green School, said:
“I’m delighted that we’re now able to welcome more students to our school. The build process has been very smooth and I’m sure the students will thoroughly enjoy learning in their new classrooms during the years ahead.”
The expansion forms part of the works taking place under the city’s Integrated Education Capital Strategy, which sets out plans to provide more school places in Bristol across all phases over the next few years. The strategy proposes a more inclusive approach to providing education places and was agreed by the Learning City Partnership Board, which brings together many different bodies including schools, the council and local businesses.
John Brennan, Skanska’s Bristol director, said:
“Building the classrooms off site had many benefits for both us and the school and minimised disruption for students, as all major work was carried out during the school holidays. These classrooms are strong, durable and tailored to the school’s requirements so we’re very pleased with the end result.”
This is one of the first essential schemes to be completed under the Integrated Education Capital Strategy, which looks at where places will be needed most across primary and secondary schools, as well as early years and specialist settings, including for students with social, emotional and mental health needs.
With an expanding city population it is estimated that 18 new forms of entry for secondary school places will be needed by 2019; the expansion of Redland Green school contributes to meeting this projected demand.
The new strategy follows on from the recent primary school expansion programme, under which the council has been working with partners to provide 10,000 additional places by 2017.