Pupils at Hartshill Academy have taken part in an official ground-breaking ceremony as work gets underway to build their new, state of the art school. Year 10 pupils Thea and Emily, both from Hartshill, joined Principal, Lorraine Taylor, the Chair of the Midland Academies Trust board, Ian Dunn, and the MAT’s CEO Marion Plant, OBE FCGI to mark the official start of construction works.

Groundwork on the new building, which is being constructed by Wates Construction within the school’s existing premises at Church Road in Hartshill, is now underway and it is expected that the steel structure will start to be installed during the summer break.

Hartshill Academy, part of the Midland Academies Trust, is one of the first schools to benefit from the Government’s national School Rebuilding Programme. The redevelopment project will deliver a brand-new facility that is fit for 21st century teaching with a target to be net zero carbon in operation.

Year 10 form leader, Thea said, “I was very impressed by the plans for the new building. The facilities for science look amazing and provide a much-needed improvement to what we have now.” Thea plans to move on to study law and hopes to take her degree course at Sheffield University.

Emily, the school’s leader for Year 10, said, “The design for the new building is ultra-modern and will be full of light. I like the fact that the teaching spaces are being built around an atrium. This will improve the whole experience for every pupil.” Emily has an ambition to study English and politics when she leaves the school.

Marion Plant, OBE FCGI, Chief Executive of the Midland Academies Trust said, “We are delighted to mark this occasion with a formal ceremony and pleased to see the progress that has already been made in preparing the site for the new school building. It is fantastic to see our vision for a transformative education experience for Hartshill Academy pupils starting to take shape.

“Hartshill Academy has a long tradition of educating pupils and enabling them to develop and create successful futures. We welcome the opportunities that the new campus will bring to adapt to contemporary learning styles and provide better resources for future generations, as well as creating a hub for the local community and a beacon for raising aspirations across the local area. The new building will provide a secure and welcoming environment for pupils, enabling them to reach their potential.”

“The school has been designed to provide a welcoming and secure environment with open spaces and wide corridors that encourages pupils to engage fully in their learning. Sustainability will be at the heart of the new school’s design with facilities making as much use as possible of natural light, with efficient use of power to save on operating costs and to help reduce carbon emissions.

Lorraine Taylor, Principal of Hartshill Academy said, “We are pleased to be working with the Wates team as we move forward with the next steps on this inspirational development. It is our intention that school life will continue uninterrupted on the same site during redevelopment and that the school will move into its new building in September 2023. We are working closely with our neighbours and with Wates to minimise any disruption to the local community during the construction process.”

David Mosedale, Project Manager at Wates said: “Our redevelopment of Hartshill Academy will create a new, welcoming, and sustainable space for pupils, while ensuring current learning environments aren’t disrupted. We’re already working on a number of other net zero carbon schools across the UK, and we’ll be bringing all this existing knowledge to the Hartshill project, to deliver it to the high standard on which Wates prides itself.”