Designs and name revealed for new RLT Witney primary

The designs have been revealed for a new primary school in Witney that will be operated by River Learning Trust.

At the same time, the provisional name of the new school has been announced.

Windrush Church of England Primary School will be located on the 1,000-home Windrush Place development in West Witney.

It will be run by RLT in partnership with the Diocese of Oxford and, like our other CofE schools, admissions will not be faith-based.

The Diocese of Oxford has said Windrush will be “an inclusive school at the heart of the community and will be outward looking, aiming to deliver an excellent education for all”.

The school will have an eventual capacity of 315 children, plus 39 full-time nursery places. It will have a 1.5-form entry, but this could grow to two-form entry if required.

The school had been due to open in 2020, but this will not now happen until 2021.

This delay is due to the slightly slower than anticipated rate of development at the West Witney estate – essentially, there will not be enough children living in the catchment until 2021, nor is there particular pressure on primary places in Witney as a whole at this point.

RLT Chief Executive Paul James said: “The school may have been put back a year but we are confident this project is moving forward.

“The images of the school are extremely exciting and we are very happy with the choice of name, although it is not yet confirmed.

“What is really important is that the school only opens when it is needed and the decision on the opening date has been taken with that in mind.”

A detailed planning application for the school has been submitted to West Oxfordshire District Council.

Plans for a primary school were included in the original application for the West Witney housing estate in 2012, and outline permission for a primary school on the site has already been granted.

Barbara Chillman, pupil place planning service manager at Oxfordshire County Council, said: “We recommended RLT as the sponsor due to the high quality of school provision they already deliver, both in and beyond Witney, and because of the trust’s experience of operating specialist resource provision for Special Educational Needs and Disabilities, which is a component of this new school.”