Pupils help celebrate official handover of new Crawley School

A ribbon cutting ceremony has been held to officially mark the opening of a new school in Crawley which is being hailed as a ‘vibrant hub’ for children in the local community.

Representatives from Persimmon Homes, Taylor Wimpey, Mi-space, the HCA and Crawley Borough Council attended the event at the new Forge Wood Primary School to mark its official handing over to West Sussex County Council and multi-academy trust GLF Schools.

Housebuilders Persimmon Homes and Taylor Wimpey started building a new community of 1,900 homes at Forge Wood in 2015. The school has been provided as part of a Section 106 Planning agreement, with Mi-space, part of the Midas Group, appointed to construct the new educational premises in January of this year.

Forge Wood first opened its doors to pupils in September 2016, with those students housed in temporary buildings until the start of the current academic year in September 2017 when pupils in Reception and Year One classes moved into their new facilities The final parts of the school became fully functioning and operational just after the October half term, and are now officially part of the school.

Adding one year group each academic year, Forge Wood, which is run by West Sussex County Council and the GLF Schools group as part of the new 1900-home Forge Hill community development, will be an all-through primary school in 2022.

Jo Newton, executive head teacher at Forge Wood School, said: “Establishing a new school within a new and growing community provides a unique experience for everyone involved. We aimed to combine both the old and new, respecting the local history and natural environment of the area whilst being ambitious and modern in our vision for a new school. We are all delighted with the result.”

Martyn Clark, Managing Director at Persimmon Homes Thames Valley, said: “We have been responsible for building the new Forge Wood neighbourhood, including Forge Wood Primary School. The new school building will provide a vibrant hub within the development offering state-of-the-art facilities for local children which also makes the most of its surrounding environment.

“The building is modular in its conception and has been designed by Stride Treglown architects to enable future expansion to accommodate another forms. We believe we have created an environment that promotes engagement and learning.”

Ian Farrell, Divisional Director at Mi-space, said: “We were delighted to have been a part of this project, helping to create such an impressive building which will give local children a strong start in their educational journey. “

Richard Burrett, West Sussex County Council Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, who is also the local County Councillor for the Pound Hill Division, which includes the Forge Wood neighbourhood, said: “I’m delighted to see Forge Wood Primary School completed. I'm sure the pupils will love the state-of-the-art building and the excellent facilities will help all of them to reach their potential.”

Forge Wood is one of the latest additions to the rapidly growing GLF group, which runs more than 20 schools of all kinds across Surrey, Sussex, Middlesex, Berkshire and Oxfordshire, based on a collaborative management approach.