Transformation plans – including rebuild – Approved

Transformation plans – including rebuild – approved for ‘most oversubscribed school in North East Lincolnshire’

The most oversubscribed school in North East Lincolnshire will increase its student capacity by 20 per cent

A Cleethorpes school will be rebuilt, with increased pupil capacity.

Beacon Academy is the most oversubscribed school in North East Lincolnshire, its headteacher has said. Plans to transform its facilities and increase its capacity by 125 pupils have been granted permission.

The Department for Education (DfE) will fund the scheme, as well as North East Lincolnshire Council. The new building is scheduled for completion in summer 2025.

“This is incredibly exciting news for everyone at Beacon,” said Beacon Academy’s headteacher Jason Thurley. “The new building will transform the school experience for our students and provide fantastic, state-of-the-art facilities to support their learning.

“The investment will also enable us to increase pupil numbers from 625 to 750. As the most oversubscribed school in North East Lincolnshire, this extra capacity is very much welcome.” The school will still be smaller than the average secondary, added Mr Thurley. This will allow it to keep to its ethos of where every child is known and understood, valued and given opportunities to excel, he said.

“Thanks to careful design and planning, pupils will be able to continue their lessons in our existing school building throughout the construction without disruption. The new building is scheduled for completion in summer 2025, and will create a superb resource for the whole community.”

A new building will be constructed on part of what is the existing playing field. Some existing buildings will be demolished, and other areas refurbished. “We can’t wait for the work to get started and see our new school start to take shape,” Mr Thurley added.

In the first phase of construction, the new main school block will be built and pupils will remain at existing premises. The second half will see existing builds demolished, and the remodelling of hard outdoor PE areas. The two tower blocks and sports hall are among the buildings to go, with the vision to create a main school block. The DfE identified Beacon Academy in the second wave of its School Rebuild Programme, to modernise schools and sixth forms.

Josh Greaves, deputy CEO at Wellspring Academy Trust, said: “At Wellspring, we firmly believe that all children and young people have the right to learn in the highest quality, inspiring, engaging environments. Jason and the team have done amazing work in turning around Beacon’s fortunes from a school previously earmarked for closure, to now the area’s most popular.

“The Department for Education’s decision to invest in this rebuild and the school is testament to all that work. More students than ever will be able to benefit from the supportive, child-focused approach that Beacon has become known for, and in a building that can provide the resources and opportunities that all children deserve.” He added that it was a transformation project for the local community the trust looked forward to working on.

The new building will include a biosolar roof, with solar panels and wildflower grasses. Beacon Academy has also agreed that playing fields and a multi-use games area created may be used by the community.

During its development, there will be a temporary construction access via Humberston Road, to ease traffic concerns in Chatsworth Place. The council’s highways team has also insisted on a reduced 30mph speed limit that will be required in place during demolition works.

The school has been oversubscribed for year seven entries in the past few years. Some existing school buildings date back to the 1950s. At the end of January, Beacon Academy had to unexpectedly temporarily close for three days to some of its pupils because of a central heating system failure.