WORK will begin within a matter of weeks on the first new primary school in Witney for almost two decades.

Windrush Church of England Primary School is set to be built at the 1,000-home Downs Road housing development, while the admissions process for the school will open for parents in September.

The school, which will have a royal blue uniform, will eventually have capacity for 315 children, with construction workers set to move on to the site next month.

The new school will be operated by the River Learning Trust (RLT), which already oversees three other primary schools in Witney – Madley Brook, Witney Community, and Tower Hill.

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The trust’s portfolio of secondary schools includes The Marlborough School in Woodstock and Chipping Norton School, in addition to others across the county.

The project is being overseen by Susie Morrissey, transformation director at RLT.

She said: “It is a real privilege to have the responsibility for opening another excellent school for Witney – the first new primary in the area for almost two decades.

“And it is great that, in a time of significant uncertainty in education, we are able to confirm that we are on track to open in September 2021.

Oxford Mail:

“Since we were chosen by Oxfordshire County Council to operate Windrush, we have been working hard to establish what the school will be like.

“It sounds simple, but it is really important to be clear about this and to get it right – it is what all parents want to know when they think about applying for a place.

“The school will encourage ambition and respect, celebrate diversity and build a sense of community.

“We will allow children to succeed, acknowledge their successes and lay the foundations for future success.”

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Work could possibly start on the site in the first week of August, while places in September 2021 will only be available for the reception year group, so for children born between September 1, 2016, and August 31, 2017.

The school’s initial intake will be 30 pupils, although the school will have the capacity for this to rise to 45 in due course.

Before and after-school childcare will be available for students at Windrush, while there will also be 39 nursery places for children aged two to four.

Although it will be a Church of England school, RLT said it will be fully inclusive, meaning places will not be allocated based on a pupil’s faith.

Oxford Mail:

Mrs Morrissey added: “It will primarily be a school at the heart of a new community that will serve people of all faiths and none.

“It is an exciting project for everyone at RLT and I know that everyone at the Oxford Diocesan Board of Education (ODBE) is equally thrilled with the opportunity to create another fine school for Witney.”

The school will become the fourth Church of England school in Witney, following St Mary’s Infants, and The Batt and The Blake schools.

Windrush will be run in partnership with the ODBE, overseen by the Diocese of Oxford.

The Diocese covers 2,200 square miles, including the three counties of Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire.