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Gateford’s new primary school sponsor announced as The Flying High Partnership

A new primary school called Whipman Woods Flying High Academy, in Gateford, Worksop is to be sponsored by The Flying High Partnership.

The multi-academy trust was selected by the Department for Education, and supported by Nottinghamshire County Council, to run the new academy after a competitive tendering process.

The new 210 place primary free school is set to open in September 2024. It will be built on Harlequin Drive on land adjacent to Gatekeeper Way in Gateford to serve the new housing development on the northern fringes of the town. It will eventually have the capacity for 315 primary places plus a 26-place nursery to meet the needs of local families.

Nottinghamshire County Council ran a public consultation on the proposals after plans for the new school were approved by its Planning and Rights of Way Committee in June 2023.

The build cost is being funded by the council, the DfE and Section 106 money, received from housing developers. The new school will be commissioned by the county council, designed and project managed by the council’s property partner, Arc Partnership, and is being built to the agreed DfE specification by Arc’s delivery partner, Morgan Sindall Construction.
The Flying High Partnership has 33 schools across Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire and has a 100% record in maintained or improved Ofsted outcomes in all of its schools.

Chris Wheatley is the CEO of The Flying High Partnership and he said, “We are once again honoured to be working in partnership with Nottinghamshire County Council to create a brand-new school, this time in Worksop. At the Flying High Partnership, we are passionate about education and providing the best opportunities for children to flourish. We know that developing a new school from scratch is both exciting and challenging, and it is something we have successfully achieved twice before, initially at Hucknall Flying High Academy, and then at Rivendell Flying High Academy in Colwick, Nottingham. Both of those schools are thriving, and all of our experience will be utilised to make Whipman Woods Flying High Academy an outstanding school for its children and a source of pride within the community.

“We look forward to welcoming our first cohort into school in September 2024 and providing children with a flying start to their educational journey.”

Deputy CEO, Paul Goodman, will be overseeing the pre-opening phase of the school. “We are incredibly excited to be opening this brand-new school in Worksop. We have not yet had the opportunity to work within this area and look forward to engaging with families, and community stakeholders over the coming weeks and months. We will be running a range of meetings, events and developing communication channels to ensure that we work together to deliver a school that we can all be proud of”.

Councillor Sam Smith, Cabinet Member for Education and Special Educational Needs and Disabilities at Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “I am delighted that the Department for Education has agreed to our recommendation and that the Flying High Partnership has been selected to run this much needed new primary school.

“Over the coming years as housing in the local area increases, so too will our need for primary school places, and the new school will offer parents more choice over their child’s education.
“Ensuring our children have access to a good quality education is vitally important in helping them to reach their potential, and I’m confident that The Flying High Partnership will be able to provide the quality of education the children of Gateford deserve and need to achieve their best.”