Proposal to establish a new primary school

to serve the new housing developments at Hartland Village, Fleet, Hampshire.

Hampshire County Council is inviting expressions of interest from Academy Proposers interested in sponsoring a new 420 place primary school from September 2026, serving a new housing development in Fleet, Hampshire.

This guide provides the specification, location, special provision and funding arrangements for the new school.

The closing date for expressions of interest is 27 May 2024.

Housing development

Hartland Village Housing Development, Fleet

Hartland Village is a large, previously-developed site located between Fleet and Farnborough. The vision for the site is for a sustainable, well designed new community with its own sense of place and identity, and with facilities to meet local needs.

The demand for additional places arises as a result of the development of 1500 dwellings at Bramshot Lane, Fleet. There was a need for a new primary school to meet the demand arising from the development.

The new primary school will be a 2fe (420 place) school, intended to open in September 2026.

More details of the development can be found within Hart District Council’s Local Plan:

Specification for the new primary school

The school will provide 420 primary places.

Age range

The school is intended to serve pupils between the ages of 4 and 11 years. At present there are no plans to incorporate early years’ provision on the site, although the County Council would welcome proposals from Academy Proposers about how this might be achieved in the future.

Gender of pupils

Mixed, the school will be for both boys and girls. 

Location and design

The new school will be established on Bramshot Lane, Fleet, Hampshire serving the major development area of Hartland Village. The school site comprises 1.76 hectares.

Location, design and floor plans

All plans are subject to planning approval and may need to be amended. Please note that drawings supplied at this stage are proposals and may be subject to change.

How the new school will be established

The Education Act 2011 changed the arrangements for establishing new schools and introduced Section 6A, now known as the ‘Free School Presumption’ to the Education and Inspections Act 2006. The legislation requires that where the County Council considers there is a need for a new school in its area; it must seek proposals from suitably qualified organisations to establish the new school as an Academy (Free School).

Potential Academy Proposers who are not already known to the Department for Education (DfE) and included on their approved register are advised to contact the DfE at the earliest opportunity, to find out more about the approval process, and certainly before submitting a formal expression of interest to the County Council.

How the new school will be built

The new school has been designed in line with Building Bulletin 103 accommodation schedule by Hampshire County Council (HCC). It will be built using a contractor on HCC’s framework for construction using Section 106 monies secured from the developers. The sponsor need not be concerned with capital funding matters unless it wishes to provide additional resources in order to provide additional facilities. Hampshire County Council has agreed to meet appropriate associated capital costs together with an agreed reasonable and mutually acceptable funding allocation for the pre and post opening costs associated with establishing the new school.

The estimated cost of the new primary school is £12.2m.

In order to meet the required opening date of September 2026, the school design is well progressed. The successful proposers will therefore only have minimal opportunity for involvement in the planning and design of the building.

Lease arrangements

On a date to be agreed with the approved Academy Proposer prior to the opening of the new primary school the site and buildings will be transferred by the County Council on a 125 year lease arrangement as prescribed by the DfE.

Opening arrangements and school growth

The exact opening arrangements for the new primary school are yet to be agreed and will be determined in discussion with the Academy Proposer and, be mindful of the demand for places at the time. However, at this stage it is envisaged that in the first instance the school will open with Reception year only and will then grow incrementally so as not to have an adverse impact on other primary schools in the locality.

The Academy Proposer will be expected to demonstrate how they will ensure the need for additional places in the Hartland Village area are met without promoting or encouraging a large-scale relocation of existing pupils from other schools in the locality, or nearby communities.

Admission Criteria

The County Council requires that Academy Proposers abide by the national School Admissions Code and the School Admission Appeals Code, participate in the County Council’s coordinated scheme for admissions and, the Local Authority’s In-Year Fair Access Protocol.

The County Council expects Academy Proposers to adopt the same admission criteria used to determine priority for places as other local schools to ensure consistency for parents as set out in the Hampshire schools’ admission arrangements.

Catchment Area

Hampshire’s admission arrangements for community and voluntary controlled schools include catchment areas to reinforce the LA’s commitment to ensuring that, as far a possible, schools serve their local community.

It is therefore intended that the new primary school will have a catchment area in order to be consistent with other schools in the local area. However, the new catchment arrangements for the school will be determined by the academy proposer, as advised by the Local Authority and in conjunction with other local schools. Any catchment arrangement is required to be compliant with the School Admissions Code. It is intended that the new primary school will have details of where the catchment line would run. The new catchment arrangements for the school will be determined with the Academy Proposer in conjunction with the local primary schools, and advised by the Local Authority and are required to be compliant with the School Admissions Code.

Extended Services

The County Council expects the Academy sponsor to collaborate and engage with other providers and local partners to develop extended services which meet the needs of local children, young people and families in a coordinated, holistic way which can be accessed through all the partners in the locality.

These services may include: access to high quality childcare, out of hours learning activities and clubs, parenting support and community access to appropriate facilities. Academy Proposers are asked to provide evidence in their application of their commitment towards the development of extended provision at the new school.

Home to School Transport

The Council will expect the Academy Proposer to encourage safe and sustainable travel to the new school, including walking and cycling, and to develop a comprehensive travel plan to support this.

Home to school transport will only be provided, therefore, in line with the Local Authority’s Home to School/ College Transport policy to eligible children. Eligible children are defined as children of compulsory school age:

  • who attend their nearest or catchment school which is beyond the statutory walking distance
  • who, because of their special educational needs, disability or mobility problems cannot reasonably be expected to walk to their school
  • whose route to the nearest suitable school is unsafe
  • children entitled to free school meals or whose parents receive the maximum level of Working Families Tax Credit (subject to a distance requirement).

All eligible children are entitled to free of charge transport to/from school at the beginning and end of the normal school day.

Special Educational Needs

The Academy will be expected to serve children with special educational needs in its catchment area for whom mainstream education is considered appropriate and to work with other providers and services in meeting the needs of pupils with special educational needs and disabilities.

Equality and Diversity

All potential Academy Proposers are required to demonstrate their commitment to inclusion, to promoting equality and diversity and to eliminating unlawful discrimination and harassment.

Funding Arrangements 

As this new school will be an Academy, the successful Academy Proposer will need to enter into a revenue funding agreement with the Secretary of State for Education, for the operation of the school, to be effective from the date of the school’s opening. As this will be an Academy established to meet basic need, the County Council will be responsible for funding an amount to support pre-opening revenue costs and post-opening diseconomies. The new school will be funded on the basis of estimated pupil numbers in accordance with The Schools and Early Years Finance (England) Regulations.

The County Council’s current growth policy, approved by Schools Forum on 12 October 2022, provides an opening school with one off start-up funding of £67,000. To recognise that schools may require this funding prior to opening, funding is available to schools up to one year (three terms) in advance of the planned opening date, phased as: £20,000 three terms prior to opening, £22,000 two terms prior to opening and £25,000 the term before opening. We reserve the right to reclaim any funding paid in advance of opening if the school doesn’t open. 

New schools are also entitled to annual funding via the Leadership Grant and Non-Staffing Resources Grant. The Leadership grant is additional funding allocated annually for each empty year group to support the fixed costs of running a school. For a Primary School the funding is £13,500 per year group, the total amount paid is dependent on the number of empty year groups. The Non-Staffing Resources Grant is paid each year as the school builds capacity. It is based on £250 for each new pupil, in the primary phase, expected to be on roll as per the final finance plan submitted before opening. 

This policy is subject to change either locally or as a result of DfE policy change.

The new school will be a recoupment Academy and the annual revenue budget will replicate the County Council’s formula for funding schools, subject to protection and additional payments in accordance with the budget policy for academies operated by the Education Skills and Funding Agency.

Application process

The closing date for expressions of interest is Monday 27 May 2024.

The closing date for full applications is Monday 8 July 2024.