THE keys to a new £8m school have been handed over as it gets ready to welcome its first pupils.
Berewood Primary is in the centre of the new 3,000-home town in the north of Waterlooville.
Headteacher Sue Patrick, who previously led Jessie Younghusband School in Chichester, said: ‘It has been a privilege to have the opportunity to establish our school at the heart of a brand new community.
‘It’s good to start to get to know the residents of Berewood and to find out about their needs and hopes for the school as a community asset and for their children’s education.’
Even though it is a self-governing academy and will sit outside state control, Hampshire County Council spent £1.2m on the project as it is part of the council’s £149m project to provide 8,000 school places in the next three years.
Hampshire County Council designed and built the school. It will lease the site and the building to the University of Chichester Academy Trust, the school’s sponsor, which will run the academy.
The site and the building(s) remain the property of Hampshire County Council.
Councillor Peter Edgar, executive member for education, said: ‘With the extensive government reforms in education our role is changing.
‘We’re now in a landscape where academies and free schools are being encouraged.
‘It’s necessary that we adapt and continue to improve our many services to schools that help children and young people achieve.
‘Education is a key priority for the county council and the development of this high-quality school demonstrates our determination to develop still further our positive relationship with our family of schools.’
The gates will open on Monday, September 8 for the first 60 pupils.
In time the school will grow to provide 420 places for four to 11-year-olds.
Cllr Edgar added: ‘Our number one aim is to have the best quality education for Hampshire kids and this historic project is the first of a long line of schools that we will deliver with quality partners.’
Academy schools are self-governing.
They also tend to have their own sponsor to provide funding.