Great Park Academy FAQs (latest update: February 2019

04 February 2019

  • Why build GGPA?
  • What’s happened so far?
  • When will GGPA open?
  • What if the proposals are delayed?
  • Where will GGPA be located?
  • How do I express an interest for my child to join GGPA?
  • How do I apply officially for my child to join GGPA?
  • What if my child does not get a place at GGPA?
  • Who will be the Principal of GGPA?

Why build GGPA?

As a result of the changing demographic profile of the Gosforth schools’ catchment area, it has been established that there will be significant pressure for school places.  Current first and middle schools in the area are already expanding in an attempt to meet existing pressure.

Within a few miles of the Gosforth Federated Academies, there has been extensive housing development, particularly at Newcastle Great Park where around 3,000 homes are planned by 2030, more than half having already been completed. Local Authority forecasts predict that a substantial number of additional primary and secondary school places will be required in the near future to meet the needs of this and other housing developments in the area.

What’s happened so far?

  • We coordinated a leaflets drop of 10,000 leaflets to the wider community, including Newcastle Great Park area and adjacent areas.
  • We advertised and informed the community via Newcastle Great Park Facebook.
  • Mr Snaith (Chair of Governors) hosted a New Schools Network bid briefing at Gosforth Academy in September 2015. All interested parties were invited to attend.
  • Letters and texts were sent to all parents and carers of children who attended schools within the Gosforth Pyramid of Schools.
  • Advertisements were posted on notice boards at Newcastle Great Park Community Centre and Sport at Gosforth Sports Centre.
  • Two public meetings were hosted by members of our senior staff at Newcastle Great Park Community Centre on 29 and 30 June 2015.
  • We launched our online and hard copy surveys.
  • A number of meetings were held between the Department for Education and ourselves.
  • The Secretary of State for Education confirmed that our proposal to build GGPA should proceed to the next stage, the pre-opening stage.
  • Admissions arrangements have been submitted for approval.
  • The Principal Designate for GGPA has been determined. See later (Who will be the Principal of GGPA?).
  • Newcastle City Council’s Planning Committee were “minded to grant” outline planning permission for the school site at a meeting on 12 January 2018
  • There are ongoing meetings and contact between the Department for Education, the Education Skills and Funding Agency, the Local Authority and ourselves
  • The planning application for Cell A at Newcastle Great Park, including the two schools, was considered by Planning Committee on 14 December 2018 following a number of amendments to the proposals since it was first considered.
  • The planning Committee were again "minded to grant" outline planning permission. A decision notice will be issued once the S106 legal agreement for Cell A has been signed.

When will GGPA open?

Although we had initially anticipated opening the school in 2018 in temporary accommodation, due to circumstances beyond our control we are now working towards an opening date of September 2020.

What if the proposals are delayed?

We are working with the LA to ensure robust contingency plans are in place ensuring that there will be sufficient places in Gosforth Middle Schools for all children leaving Gosforth First Schools in September 2020.

Where will GGPA be located?

In January 2018 and December 2018, Newcastle City Council’s Planning Committee were “minded to grant” outline planning permission for the first school and middle/secondary school, including associated playing pitches, at Newcastle Great Park (NGP). The plans were submitted by Newcastle Great Park consortium as part of their proposed Cell A and B1 developments. The detailed design and layout of both schools are yet to be determined and separate detailed planning applications for the development of the schools will be required before they can be delivered on site. This will be done once the S106 legal agreement for Cell A has been signed. The S106 agreement will include the arrangements for the transfer of land for both schools.  

You can view the Planning Committee papers and decisions here: NCC Planning Committee 14 December 2018; and the planning application and all associated documents here: NGP Cell A outline planning application. The documentation includes the proposed location of the schools, which are close to the SAGE building.

The additional first school places at NGP will be provided by the relocation and expansion of Broadway East First School, which was agreed by Cabinet in November 2017 following consultation and agreement by the school’s governing body.

How do I express an interest for my child to join GGPA?

We are currently registering interest for places. In order to do this please access our website, click on the Great Park tab at the top of the page and then click the Register Interest tab and follow the instructions.

How do I apply officially for my child to join GGPA?

As stated earlier, “Admissions arrangements have been submitted for approval”. When these have been approved by the DfE, we will inform all interested parties as to the criteria for admission and the process for application for admission. These details will be published on our website and on the website of Newcastle City Council. The Academy Trust is also working with the other first and middle schools in Gosforth on co-ordinated proposals for school admissions policies, including any future feeder school arrangements. Any proposed changes to admissions policies would be consulted on in line with the statutory School Admissions Code.

Under the statutory School Admissions Code, the expected closing date for applications for September 2020 entry will be 31 October 2019 and offers will be made on 1 March 2020. Initially, offers will be conditional until the final funding agreement for the new school is signed by the Secretary of State for Education. Typically, this happens in the second half of the spring term for a school opening in September.

What if my child does not get a place at GGPA?

The academy will operate a waiting list for each year group. Where in any year the academy receives more applications for places than there are places available, a waiting list will operate until the 31 December of the school year. This will be maintained by the Academy Trust and it will be open to any parent to ask for his or her child’s name to be placed on the waiting list, following an unsuccessful application. Beyond 31st December, parents seeking admission will have the opportunity to reapply for a place via an academy application form.

Positions on the waiting list will be determined solely in accordance with the oversubscription criteria, as set out in the school’s Admissions Policy.

All applicants who have been refused a place have a right of appeal to an independent appeal panel constituted and operated in accordance with the School Admission Appeals Code.

Who will be the Principal of GGPA?

Excellent leadership in any school is of paramount importance, and clearly we want the best person for the job. Mr. Robinson (Principal of Gosforth Federated Academies) is Principal Designate of GGPA.

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