Oxfordshire’s first eco school, which delayed opening for two years after failing to recruit enough students, has announced it will finally open in September.
Gagle Brook School was built at Elmsbrook, the first phase of the North West Bicester eco settlement, in 2016 and was due to open that year but was delayed until 2017. It was postponed again due to low registration numbers.
But operator The White Horse Federation revealed last week that it has set a concrete opening date of September 4.
It also announced that the school, which has been empty for months, will initially only provide reception and nursery provision.
Nick Capstick, CEO of TWHF, said: “We have great ambitions for the school, so while current admissions are limited to reception and nursery-aged children we look forward to accepting admissions for additional year groups once class sizes ensure we are able to deliver a broad and balanced curriculum for the benefit of every pupil.”
The school will be led by headteacher Alan Derry, who has been working during the delay as interim principal at sister school Southwold Primary School in Holm Way.
Pupils will be taught a curriculum heavily based on the environment and sustainability, as the school has been built to have a minimal carbon footprint.
Councillor Hilary Hibbert-Biles, responsible for education at Oxfordshire County Council, said last week’s announcement ”is really great news for everyone associated with Elmsbrook, North West Bicester”.
“Through the combined efforts of The White Horse Federation and Oxfordshire County Council, Gagle Brook Primary School will be the first new school to open and serve this new community in Bicester, set in a purpose-built sustainable environment.”
The £6.8million school failed to open last year after only attracting interest from 10 potential students.
According to the county council, Gagle Brook can accept up to 30 pupils from September.
A parents and community evening will be held at the school at 6pm today (Thursday).
Applications for a place in Reception class at the start of the academic year are still being accepted. Visit gaglebrook.org.uk for more information.