Sunday, January 13, 2008

Green Light for New Learning Campus

Southampton Conservatives are pushing ahead with plans for investment and modernisation of secondary education in the city.

Later this month the Council's Conservative Cabinet are meeting to approve the next steps for the eventual development of 4 new secondary schools in Southampton:

  • The Lord's Hill Oasis Academy which is to be built on the 5 acre field site on the northern boundary of the city.
  • The Mayfield Oasis Academy which will be developed on the Grove Park School site.
  • The relocation of Regents Park Community College to the St Mark’s CE Junior/ former Civil Service Sports Ground site in Freemantle.
  • The relocation of the Sholing Technology College to the Itchen College building.
I am delighted that such excellent progress is being made and I am particularly pleased with the work that is going on secure the former Civil Service Sports Ground as school and community playing fields.

Together with Cllr Brian Parnell and Cllr Michael Ball we have represented residents' wishes to protect the Civil Service Sports Ground from housing development and protect one of the last green playing fields in the city centre, and we have sought to secure central government funding (Building Schools for the Future Programme) to build a new school on the St Mark's site to serve the needs of the local community.

In January we will be formally authorising the Council's Director of Resources to take steps to acquire the former Civil Service Sports Association playing fields at the rear of the St Mark’s site from its current owner, Bovis Homes so that it can be developed as a playing field for St Mark’s CE Junior School and Regents Park Community College, and made available for community use.

The Council will work with the governing body of Regents Park Community College, the governing body of St Mark’s CE Junior School and the Board of Education of the Winchester Diocese of the Church of England with the aim of creating a learning campus on the St Mark’s CE Junior School site including both primary and secondary education.

As the newly selected Parliamentary Candidate for Southampton Test, top of my agenda will be pressing government to provide funds for these and other schools in the city.

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