Entrust design and project manage Staffordshire’s first brand new high school for nearly 30 years

The £30 million John Taylor Free School in Tatenhill, Burton, has opened its doors to 210 year 7 pupils. The school has taken two years to build and features a specially-built dance studio with a sprung floor, drama studio, outdoor changing pavilion, sports hall, state-of-the-art science rooms and a large Learning Resource Centre including the library.

The school has been designed and project-managed by Entrust, our education joint venture, built by Seddon construction, and funded by Staffordshire County Council and the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA).

The school will eventually accommodate 1550 pupils including 6th form and is part of plans by Staffordshire County Council to add around 7,900 primary and secondary school places over the next five years, at an estimated cost of £151 million.

Over the past five years, Entrust (a joint venture business between Capita and Staffordshire County Council) has supported the county council to add nearly 8000 primary and secondary school places by designing and project managing numerous refurbishments, extensions and new school builds. This investment from Staffordshire County Council has meant the majority of parents have been allocated the school of their choice at both a primary and secondary level.

Sean Latham, director of property services at Entrust, said:

“We are proud to create and maintain many of the schools in Staffordshire. Schools need to be more than a physical building – they need to be places that children and young people love to go to and feel safe in, have features that will inspire and incite, and have spaces that will provide a sense of community and belonging. John Taylor Free School is a great example of innovatively designed learning spaces, state of the art technology and a truly inspiring environment and we wish all of the pupils and staff the best of luck in their first year.”

County Councillor Philip White, Cabinet Support Member for Learning and Skills said:

“The opening of the school is the culmination of years of hard work, from the planning stages to the construction of the school. It is testament to the hard work of everyone involved in this project that we have been able to open to pupils today, and the new school looks fantastic. With more new schools needed across the county, our work will continue so we can ensure children in Staffordshire can learn in a good, local school.”

The brand new school is a partner within the John Taylor Multi-Academy Trust, which is behind John Taylor High School, rated as ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted.

Headteacher of the new school, Sue Plant, said:

“I am delighted that we are opening with a full cohort and a waiting list for places. It demonstrates that parents want an education for their child which is based on both academic success and personal growth. JTMAT has a strong track record of excellence and we will continue this at John Taylor Free School.”

To find out more about Entrust Property Services, email enquiries@entrust-ed.co.uk

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