The North Solihull Primary School Programme
Regenerating North Solihull is not just about building new houses. It is helping to fund brand new primary schools across Smith's Wood, Kingshurst & Fordbridge and Chelmsley Wood. Significant progress continues to be made with the transformation of the primary schools in North Solihull. The plan is to replace 15 Junior and Infant schools with 10 newly built or remodelled primary schools which will include 'fully integrated' extended services for children and young families across the community.
The North Solihull Partnership is overseeing the delivery of this programme alongside and on behalf of Solihull Council. As such the challenge of improving the education of children across the community is at the heart of one of the most significant and innovative regeneration projects in England.
The North Solihull Partnership has delivered six brand new primary schools so far: Kingshurst, Smith's Wood Community Primary, St Anne's Catholic Primary, Bishop Wilson Church of England, Fordbridge and Coleshill Heath. A seventh new school (Yorkswood) is planned with building work beginning in Spring 2018. Windy Arbor School is undergoing an extensive remodelling programme that will be completed by April 2018.
Equally the wider regeneration of the North Solihull area in relation to education and children's services is also making a difference. The Council's Building Schools for the Future Programme, which was part of the Government's first wave of funding for secondary schools is now complete including the rebuilding of Oaklands Special School, John Henry Newman Catholic College, Smiths Wood Sports College and Park Hall Academy. Together with a special school built (Forest Oak and Merstone) with BSF Pathfinder funding and the earlier construction of a brand new Academy (GraceAcademy) the whole of the secondary estate has been rebuilt and/or transformed and the BSF schemes alone represent a further £100m investment in the area.
The latest new schools opened in September 2015. Fordbridge and Coleshill Heath Primary Schools are attended by up to 1100 primary age pupils who now benefit from being taught in these schools. The schools have been designed with the future in mind, in a context that has flexibility built in to ensure that teaching practices can be adapted to the needs of pupils in an ever changing curriculum.