Melksham Oak School needs to expand because of a growing primary school population and new housing being developed in the town. Melksham Oak School is the only secondary school serving the Melksham community area and converted to an Academy in April 2015. There were 2,370 houses identified in the Wiltshire Core Strategy to be built in the Melksham community area. The remaining housing is predicted to generate a further 300 - 380 secondary aged pupils. Although there is a level of surplus currently it is anticipated expansion of Melksham Oak School will be required.
Forecasts: Red figures show when school reaches/exceeds capacity, indicating that Melksham Oak School capacity will start to exceed its current capacity by the academic year 2020 and by a larger amount in 2021. Although forecast number will rise slightly above the proposed capacity of 1500 between 2023 to 2026, by 2027/28 the school is expected to have 1500 pupils.
The White Horse Federation, School Governors and Wiltshire Council are seeking views on a proposal to expand the school from 1260 to 1500 students aged 11 to 16. This would start in 2021 with 48 extra students in each age group. The expansion will be funded by the Council from funds provided by the DfE and developer contributions secured by legal agreements as part planning process.
To enable the school to expand it is proposed to provide additional classrooms and learning spaces. Extra teaching and non- teaching staff would be recruited. In developing the plans further, the school will seek to maintain as much as possible of the external play space on site. The accommodation would be built to government requirements and guidelines.
Planning permission for the building works will be required should the proposal proceed.
The views of Melksham Oak School
We have discussed the proposal and support the principle of expansion so that we can help meet the need for school places in the local area. There are disadvantages as well as advantages to expansion and we summarise below some of these. We recognise that this list is not exhaustive and have left space on the attached questionnaire for you to add your views. Should the plans progress we will keep you informed at every stage.
The school would be better able to meet the needs of more of the local community who wish for their children to attend their local school.
Additional places would be available for children living nearby
Job creation and greater career progression opportunities for members of staff. The expansion of the school would provide further teaching posts and other related roles from 2021.
Increased financial flexibility and resourcing for the school.
New facilities for teaching and learning.
The school size will increase, but this will happen incrementally over five years. We will preserve a “family” feel so that students know the staff in their area and don’t feel lost.
Some disruption may occur during the building works on the site and in the local area which would need to be managed very carefully.
Have your say
We need your views to assist us in making a decision on expansion.
There will be a meeting at the school to discuss the expansion proposal. This will be held at Melksham Oak School on Thursday June 27 2019 at 5pm to 6:30pm.
Room and directions
What happens next?
June 2019 consultation starts;
July 2019 deadline for responses to the consultation
September 2019 The White Horse Federation considers consultation responses about Melksham Oak School and decide whether or not to proceed. Update for parents on progress.
Please take time to complete the questionnaire on the consultation letter below so that we can get your feedback. In order for us to collate your responses, please return the questionnaire to school by midday on Monday 8th July 2019
At the heart of The White Horse Federation is a belief in using collaboration to provide a first-class education to a wide range of children. This means that every child understands what they are capable of, and can collectively strive for excellence.
Following the Government announcements, we've taken the decision to close the school until further notice. We appreciate this is a difficult time for everyone as we all make personal sacrifices for the greater good of the nation. Where possible, we've tried to contact parents and carers who registered as Key Workers, those with vulnerable children, or who collect Free School Meals. If we have not managed to contact you, here is some further information:
Children of Key Workers
If you need support with childcare because both parents of the child(ren) are critical key workers, then we will do our best to support you while you're on the frontline. This school is now closed, however, we have designated schools within the White Horse Federation that are still operating as hubs. We will organise childcare for your child(ren) at one of these locations. Please contact one of the White Horse Federation Coordinators using the chat facility on the website. You can launch this by clicking the ? in the bottom left of the screen.
Children who are Vulnerable
The White Horse Federation has deemed vulnerable children to be those without adequate care or protection at home or with significant health needs. Given the current Government guidance at this point in time, we deem the safest place to be at the parent's or carer's home. If you believe this is not the case for your child(ren), then please contact one of the White Horse Federation Coordinators using the chat facility on the website. You can launch this by clicking the ? in the bottom left of the screen.
Children who collect Free School Meals
We are making every effort to ensure children who collect Free School Meals have access to food. To that effect we will be supplying parents and carers of children who collect Free School Meals with vouchers to cover the cost of 20 days’ worth of lunches from Tuesday 24th March through to Monday 4th May. The vouchers are ordered and we are currently awaiting receipt of them before the end of the week. We have contact details of those who are registered as receiving Free School Meals and will contact you directly. If you're concerned that we don't have your details, then please contact one of the White Horse Federation Coordinators using the chat facility on the website. You can launch this by clicking the ? in the bottom left of the screen.
We will endeavour to continue the learning for all our children despite these setbacks. You should know that the teaching staff at your school have worked tirelessly both day and night to manage this situation to the best of our ability. Our nation is triumphant against adversity, and we have every confidence we will return to our normal lives as soon as possible. Please take care of yourself and loved ones while we all work through this together.