School called Tadpole Farm
TADPOLE Farm CE Primary Academy is the official name for the new primary school due to be created in September as part of the 1,700-home development at the farm site in North Swindon.
The public were presented with five options by the Diocese of Bristol Academies Trust in a vote for which name they wanted for the new school, including Tadpole Farm, St Clare’s, Trinity, Ermine Way and Shepherd’s Way.
A decision was made by a team of officials from the trust on Thursday, with Tadpole Farm the clear winner in the public vote, according to senior effectiveness officer Andrew Wild.
The final opportunity to sample the community’s opinion was on Wednesday, when headteacher Jane Leo and trust staff attended a drop-in session at Oakhurst Primary School.
“It was a really good session,” said Mr Wild. “There was a really good flow of people. We didn’t stop until about 5.40pm and we had been going from noon, which was really good.
“There weren’t massive crowds, but a nice trickle, which allowed us to deal with people individually.
“We are going to be running more sessions because, obviously, the difficulty is we don’t have established premises in the locality which people can travel to at any time.
“We were trying to push both the reception and the nursery. Lots of parents who put choices down in January didn’t have a clue who we were or what the school looked like.
“There are many parents in the area who will have us as their closest school now, so it was important for them to see what we are offering.”
Mr Wild said the main thrust of questions were neither aimed at Mrs Leo nor the layout of the school site in Tadpole Farm, but the quality of the accommodation at its temporary home Redhouse Community Centre.
Progress on the new build at the farm has fallen behind schedule and pupils will now be taught at the community centre, also yet to be built, until Christmas at the earliest.
“It was more about what the temporary accommodation’s going to be like,” he said. “They were concerned it might be some form of shack. They didn’t realise the community centre had facilities for young people already established. It reassured them to know it will be built, in part, for small children.”
The trust official also said he and his colleagues were encouraged by the feedback offered by parents of prospective pupils. Numbers for attendees will not be confirmed until April 16, when Swindon Council sends out decisions on school places.
As well as a confirmed number for pupils starting September, other aspects for the school can take shape now the name has been confirmed.
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