Milestone groundbreaking ceremony for Higham Lane School’s new sister school

The start of construction of the new Higham Lane North Academy was officially marked on Thursday 6 June 2024 by a groundbreaking ceremony at the site located off Higham Lane at the new Top Farm neighbourhood in Weddington, north-east Nuneaton.

Established by the Central England Academy Trust, the new 11-16 secondary school will follow the same successful model for secondary education that has seen the nearby Higham Lane School judged as ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted in May 2019 and as World Class in 2021.

Pupils from Higham Lane School joined representatives of the Trust, the Higham Lane North Academy project team and BAM Construction to cut the first turf of the new free school development which will include a two-storey teaching building with IT-rich classrooms, science labs, a drama studio, a music room and state-of-the-art classrooms and an indoor sports hall. The vast outdoor space will feature a four-court Multi-Use Games Area and grass pitches for year-round sports, a drama/performance amphitheatre, a curriculum habitat area, quiet outdoor learning areas, a SEND garden and an external canopied dining area.  

Ben Elliott, Chief Financial Officer of the Central England Academy Trust, said: ‘This is a significant milestone in the development of Higham Lane North Academy and we are excited to create a learning environment that will enable us to secure excellent academic and holistic outcomes for another 900 local children. The cutting-edge facilities at this brand-new school will enable pupils to access not only the broad and balanced knowledge curriculum based on the proven Higham Lane School model but also an innovative education that will encompass digital media, IT, engineering, drama, music, art and ample opportunity for sports recreation and education. Set within the new 1,700-home Top Farm development, the new school will also be an important hub for local residents, providing out-of-hours community use of the extensive sports facilities with dedicated pupil and visitor-only entrances.’

With site preparations now complete, the lift shaft and first steels already in place, the new school is on schedule for completion in summer 2025 and the Trust and project team are working closely with the Department for Education and Warwickshire County Council to open admissions in September 2024 and have everything in place ready to welcome Higham Lane North Academy’s first Year 7 pupils in September 2025.

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