Last week, Worcester MP Robin Walker attended the monthly meeting of Rivers CofE Academy Executive Heads and visited the new North Worcester Primary Academy (NWPA) building site.
The new school is being built on the former grounds of the Park and Ride in Perdiswell and is due to have its first intake of students in September; initially the school will be composed of 60 reception pupils and 26 pre-school students, though this is expected to increase substantially over the next few years as full capacity is due to be 420 primary school students.
Robin was delighted when the plans to build NWPA were announced. During his tenure as Worcester’s Member of Parliament, easing the strain on school places and services in the constituency has been a key priority. Over the past nine years, Worcester has seen some great developments in terms of educational facilities and capacity; a new set of buildings for Tudor Grange, a new AP Free School in Warndon, expansions at many primary schools and our special school at Regency, new science labs at Bishop Perowne, Blessed Edwards, Nunnery Wood and Worcester Sixth Form College and a new sixth form centre for Christopher Whitehead.
City Councillors voted in 2017 to sell three of the five-acre Park and Ride plot to the Government to pave way for the new primary school, and since then extensive work has been undertaken to ensure the buildings are up and running in time for the start of the new academic year.
Rivers CofE Academy Trust is a group of 9 thriving primary schools in Worcestershire, all rated Good or Outstanding by Ofsted. The schools are of a ‘faith ethos’, meaning that regardless of religion, or an absence of religion, all students attending the schools in the Trust are taught values and ethics centred around the Trust’s ‘Love, Learn and Live’.
Robin has praised the fact that more money is going into schools nationally than ever before with school funding at a record high. The core schools’ budget has increased to £42.4 billion this academic year and is set to rise to £43.5 billion in 2019-20. This follows the additional £1.3 billion of funding over and above what was promised in the last Spending Review.
The NFF now provides funding gains for schools across England, allocating:
• an increase in the basic amount allocated for every pupil;
• a minimum per pupil funding level for both secondary’s and primaries to target the lowest funded schools;
• for schools in the constituency of Worcester, notional National Funding Formula (NFF) funding of £54.8 million in 2018/19 and an illustrative NFF funding in 2019/20: £55.6 million;
• an average increase of 4.46% in pupil-led funding in schools across Worcester.
On top of this, the pupil premium, which aims to raise the attainment of disadvantaged pupils, is worth an additional £3.95 million for schools in the Worcester constituency this past year alone.
Speaking about his visit and NWPA, Robin said:
“I am very happy to see the extraordinary progress being made at North Worcester’s new school building site. I know that the City needs new schools to cope with the rise in demand for places, and I hope to continue working with local parents and teachers to explore creating new Primary provision in South Worcester, as well as supporting the case for an Autism specialist school in the county.”
“I enjoyed touring the site and discussing important matters for Worcester’s educational future such as climate control, per pupil funding and special educational needs and disability services with the Executive Heads.”
“We are very lucky in Worcester to have a team of hard-working and dedicated individuals serving the Rivers CofE Trust occupied with the task of making schooling in Worcester even better. I look forward to the opening of the school and arranging to meet some of its teachers and students in due course.”
“I have a long-standing relationship with this Academy and the Management team, and I am so pleased to support them in their latest project, I will of continue to do so. It is a testament to their hard work and commitment to education and I am proud of how they have made such progress with this new primary academy.”
Notes to editors
For more information on Rivers CofE Academy Trust, please see:
For more information on Robin’s previous work will schools, including school funding, please see: