We will remain in the Tolpits Lane building for the 2017/18 academic year and we will move in the summer of 2018 to the new school ready for the 2018/19 academic year.
The entire Long Lane site is just over 45 acres, with around half of this being allocated for The Reach Free School. The remainder of the site will be designated for educational use, but is likely to remain as farmland.
Detailed plans were submitted to Three Rivers District Council and agreed in December 2016. They can be viewed here.
In keeping with its community ethos, the school is committed to remaining smaller than average and has no current plans to increase from a four-form entry school. However, across the South West Hertfordshire area there is continued demand for school places and this is likely to remain for the foreseeable future. If there is demand for additional school places in the area, then the school will consult with all stakeholders about increasing in size.
How will the transition from the temporary Tolpits Lane site to the Long Lane permanent site be managed?
Schools are often treasure troves with numerous cubby holes where long forgotten resources are kept. Being relatively new, this is not the case with The Reach Free School and we are always mindful of the fact that this is only a temporary home for the school. That said, we will begin the process of moving once the permanent build, enters its final stages of completion. Pupils will be working on a transition project as part of their Community Common Room sessions in order to bring them up speed on facilities and layout of the school.
Will the move to the Long Lane permanent site change the admissions policy of The Reach Free School (e.g. the catchment area)?
For the first cohort of pupils (ie. those beginning secondary school in September 2018) it will remain as it currently is, with the current central point of the Mill End Sports and Social Club. We will consult with stakeholders about changing the admissions point to the entrance of the school. Should there be no significant objections, then it will then take effect from September 2019.
The school will work with its existing transport provider to ensure that pupils have readily available access to the new site of the school, but the school will no longer be able to subsidise the bus services.
The school will be actively working with local providers to ensure that the facilities are used for the benefit of the local community. This is likely to be in the form of sports clubs and performing arts groups using the facilities outside of normal school hours.
There is scope within the entire site (ie. outside of the boundaries of The Reach Free School) for additional education provision. However the exact shape of form of these has not been decided, with The Reach Free School providing sufficient local secondary provision, and available capacity within existing primary schools for the foreseeable future.
What will happen to the land purchased by the EFA but not allocated for school purposes – for example, will it be used for housing?
The entire site will be allocated for educational use (if required), but outside the boundaries of The Reach Free School will remain as farmland for the foreseeable future.
A full survey, undertaken by transport experts has been carried out and there will be a new roundabout installed on the Uxbridge Road. The exact plans are detailed in the approved planning application available here.