New carbon neutral school in Gloucestershire opening next week 

A NEW school in Gloucestershire is opening its door next week to hundreds of new students. 

The High School Leckhampton on Farm Lane will welcome around 250 year seven and eight pupils on Monday (September 5), after operating at a temporary site at Balcarras for the past year.

The £35 million carbon neutral secondary school has state-of-the-art facilities, including six science labs, 10 ICT suites, a 400-seat auditorium and a music and drama studio.

Its sports facilities include a full-size floodlit astro-turf pitch, grass playing fields, a sports hall, a fitness suite and six outdoor tennis tables. 

The school will create its own green energy using solar panels and has been environmentally designed with tree planting on the school grounds to benefit local habitats. 

Headteacher Helen Wood said: “We are very excited to be moving into our wonderful new building.  

“The whole team at The High School Leckhampton, including the governors, teachers and staff, have been working tirelessly to get ready for this relocation and there’s no doubt that it will be a superb environment in which to learn.  

“We feel hugely privileged to establish our brand-new school in such an impressive environment and know that our wonderful pupils will make the most of their marvellous facilities.”

Philip Robinson, cabinet member for education at Gloucestershire County Council said: “This £35 million school is a significant part of the council’s £100 million investment into our county’s schools.

“It’s a fantastic school and we are delighted that these pupils now have access to high quality education in a fabulous building.”

Emma Nelson, county councillor for Leckhampton, said: “I am thrilled to see this flagship, state-of-the-art school that is The High School Leckhampton completed. 

“What tremendous opportunities this school presents to the students living in and around Leckhampton to achieve their potential in a beautiful setting. 

“I want to thank residents for their patience while this work has taken place.”

Andy Bolas, regional director at Kier Construction, Western & Wales, said: “As a Gloucestershire-based business, we are extremely proud to deliver schemes like this one and we look forward to seeing it positively serve the community now and in the future.”

The High School Leckhampton is run by Balcarras Academy Trust. It will have a new year 7 group join each year until eventually reaching its full capacity for 900 11–16-year-olds. 

Gloucestershire County Council’s cabinet gave approval to establish a new 900 11-16 place secondary school in Cheltenham to meet the increased demand in 2017, funding was approved in 2018 and planning permission was granted in 2020.

The school is in line with the county council’s pledge to reduce Gloucestershire’s carbon emissions by 80 percent by 2030 and be carbon neutral by 2050. 

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