New Corby school not expected to move into permanent site until 2018

Lodge Park Academy
Lodge Park Academy

A new school in Corby which was set to open last year will now open in September - but it is not expected to move into its permanent site until 2018.

The Ashworth Preparatory School was due to open in 2015, but was forced to push back its opening date after concerns that a site had not been indentified.

A site in Lodge Park has now been found – with pupils sharing facilities with Lodge Park Academy – but it will not be ready until 2018.

Ashworth Prep will be opening its doors at an emergency school, Learn Space, and will be taking on pupils next year at a base in the Earlstree Industrial Estate.

The school is being run by the David Ross Education Trust, and chief executive Wendy Marshall says “they don’t want to rush things”.

She said: “The school has been approved and the temporary site in the Earlstree Estate is less than two miles from our planned permanent home.

“We expect to be there for two years and we are confident that we will be able to open to 30 reception pupils.

“The biggest issue is that things never go as quickly as you hope they do.

“We want to make sure the whole site works.

“There needs to be a proper community consultation and we don’t want to rush things.

“Generally we have been genuinely supported and Corby is going to see a multi-million-pound purpose-built primary school.”

The school is being named after Corby’s Victoria Cross recipient Lance Corporal James Ashworth.

And Ms Marshall feels that will give the school a sense of pride.

She added: “The school is being run on the preparatory school model and will combine the best of the state and independent sectors.

“James Ashworth is Corby’s fallen hero and we hope that will give the school a real sort of pride and community.

“We will have high aspirations for our pupils and broaden their educational opportunities, with Lodge Park Academy pupils being mentors to ours.

“We have been unsure about the delays so there hasn’t been a flood of applications so far, but we are working with Northamptonshire County Council to ensure we start the academic year with 30 children in reception.

“We expect that once we are at capacity we will have 60 pupils per year group and 420 overall.”