The Pathfinder Church of England Voluntary Aided (CE VA) Primary School is due to be completed in July this year in line with projections that the first houses in Northstowe would have been built and occupied by then.

However, Gallagher anticipates that the first homes will be occupied by spring 2017.

This would have left the Pathfinder Primary School empty for a year, with Cambridgeshire County Council having to meet security and maintenance costs for the building.

In the meantime, nearby Hatton Park Primary School in Longstanton is about to embark on an expansion project to double its capacity, to cater for 420 pupils.

An agreement has therefore been reached between the two schools for Hatton Park Primary to move to the Pathfinder site for one year from this summer. This will mean the unused Northstowe building will be occupied, and the work to expand Hatton Park can be completed more quickly and without the need for the school to operate on the site at the same time.

Both schools will ultimately feed into the new Northstowe Secondary School, so the arrangement will mean the two schools will start working together sooner than originally planned.

Kier Construction is the contractor for both of these projects so is fully aware of the issues involved. The company is committed to working closely with County Council officers and both school trusts to plan and complete the move.

Andrew Read, Director of Education for the Diocese of Ely, which will run Pathfinder Primary School said: "This arrangement sets the tone for future shared partnership working across the locality, enabling the existing community to gain early benefit from the new areas of residential expansion and associated resources.

"I am delighted that before Pathfinder forms its own identity as a new Church school with its own pupils, it can form the temporary safe home of Hatton Park. This will enable the existing Hatton Park School building to be further extended as a high-quality educational learning environment. With a new secondary also to come in the area, the locality is going to be very well served by 21st Century learning facilities."

Lesley Birch, Executive Headteacher from Cambridge Primary Education Trust (CPET) which runs Hatton Park Primary School added: "We are very excited about the prospect of extending our current excellent facilities so that we can accommodate our children in permanent buildings.  The opportunity to occupy the Pathfinder Primary School building whilst expansion is taking place at Hatton Park Primary School will enable us to focus on the children's learning, build new partnerships and support the wider community.  We realise there will be new challenges ahead which we will work with children, staff and parents to attain the best outcomes for all our pupils."

A drop-in session will be held at Hatton Park Primary School on Wednesday 20th April from 3.30 pm to 7.00 pm when representatives from the various organisations involved will be available to answer questions about the expansion proposals and the temporary relocation from parents and the wider community.

If you are unable to attend the exhibition itself, we would still very much welcome your views and the proposals will continue to be displayed for a period of 2 weeks following the event. Feedback forms will be available for you to record any comments. Alternatively, you can email Gaye Roberts, Education Capital Project Officer, at [email protected] or call on 01223 699797.  

 

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