A project is underway that will create 210 new primary places to serve the village of Elsenham in Uttlesford. This represents a multi-million pound investment at a school originally dating back to 1863, rated ‘Good’ by Ofsted and consistently popular with parents, that will enrich the educational experience for local children for many years to come.
In common with all other schools in the area, Elsenham CE (VC) Primary School has a rural setting. Uttlesford District continues to see significant development taking place, which in turn has implications for the supply of school places as parents move in to the new houses.
However, in Elsenham’s particular case, whilst evident that demand outstripped supply going forward, the number of new properties under construction was insufficient to warrant a second primary school within the village at this time.
The challenge therefore was to deliver a bespoke solution at the existing school, already on a restricted site and with no immediate prospect of being able to expand onto adjoining land, to serve that local demand well into the future.
Working in partnership with both the Anglican Diocese of Chelmsford and Elsenham CE (VC) Primary School, ESOS was able to broker a suitable solution through its colleagues in Infrastructure Delivery, which also contained the ambition to replace existing temporary accommodation at the school with permanent build.
This proposal to expand and enhance the community’s existing school met with a positive response, and the expansion project is now being delivered. The finished accommodation is due to be in use by September 2020, when forecasts suggest that the village would otherwise be short of a whole Reception class.