Academy sponsor confirmed for Bridgwater’s new Primary School

The academy sponsor for the new Northgate Primary School in Bridgwater has been announced.

The Department for Education has confirmed that Clevedon Learning Trust, which already runs three schools, will open and run the new Northgate Primary School.

This exciting news comes following a bolt tightening celebration at the school earlier this month to mark the construction of the steel frame on the site.

Cllr Frances Nicholson, Cabinet Member for Children and Families at Somerset County Council, said: “I’m very pleased that Clevedon Learning Trust has been appointed the academy sponsor for Northgate’s primary school, and look forward to working with the Trust to help deliver a good school for local families.

“When we talk about the pressing need for additional primary school places in central Bridgwater, the figures really do speak for themselves. In October 2009, 4,614 children were attending primary schools in Bridgwater; by 2014 this number had risen by 20 per cent to 5,562. In short, the town is growing, and will continue to do so as local housing developments, and the Hinkley Point C power station project move forward.”

The much-needed school is set to open ready for the September 2017 academic year. It will open initially with a reception class, nursery, and artificial playing pitch, eventually growing over time to provide a 14 class primary school in the area.

John Wells, Executive Headteacher of Clevedon Learning Trust, said: “We are delighted to be welcomed into Bridgwater to create the new Northgate Primary School. We’re looking forward to providing brilliant learning experiences for all children and their families in the town. The school will foster a culture of high expectation, ambition and possibility, based on our trust values: Children, Choice and Collaboration. Our focus is always on providing the best possible outcomes for our children. Appointing Heather Good as Executive Headteacher will ensure that Northgate Primary School opens from a position of strength with local knowledge and experience.”

Heather Good, Executive Headteacher of Northgate Primary School, said: Having successfully run an excellent school at Westover Green, I am thrilled to be taking on the role of Executive Headteacher of Westover Green and the new Northgate Primary School. I am delighted to be given the opportunity to run a brand new school in the center of Bridgwater. This is fantastic news for our town. The school will provide additional educational experiences for every young person and family in the area. I am certain that in partnership with the Clevedon Learning Trust, we will develop an outstanding local school that will be a great resource for our community.”

Somerset County Council has awarded £1.3 million to the school from a fund set up to support education facilities in the area as part of the planning agreement with EDF Energy to build Hinkley Point C.

David Eccles of EDF Energy said: “This is an excellent example of how Hinkley Point C’s education fund is directly contributing to a lasting sustainable legacy for the community.

“As well as providing around £15m to support education, employment and skills locally, we have also invested millions of pounds in community facilities, sports and leisure projects and road improvements as part of our commitment to support the local area.”

The Clevedon Learning Trust are holding a drop-in event on 10th January 2017 from 2 to 6pm at the Victoria Centre in Bridgwater. Parents can pop in to meet John Wells (CEO) and Zoë Elder (Director of Education) from the Trust and Heather Good (Executive Head Teacher of Northgate Primary School) to find out more about the new school and ask questions.

Any parents interested in finding out more about the application process can email office@clevedonlearningtrust.org.uk

The finished school will incorporate a memorial close by to commemorate the old Bridgwater Hospital.