Castle School

We are consulting on the proposal to relocate the Castle School Sixth Form centre to a new location on the main Castle School, Park Road site.

A Drop-In Session on 6th July 2022 from 4pm to 7pm, at Castle School. You will be able to see drawings and offer comments on the proposals to provide new and refurbished accommodation for Castle School students. The project team, school and council staff will be available to help explain the proposed scheme. Details of how this proposal will address current issues are set out overleaf.

With the existing Sixth Form site becoming vacant in the future, the Council has instructed Aequus Developments Ltd to prepare a scheme for the Old Gloucester Road site. It is proposed that a later consultation event will be held in early August to share proposals prior to preparation of a planning application. The redevelopment of the Sixth form site will contribute towards the cost of works proposed on the Park Road complex and provide the much-needed improved facilities for students and teachers alike.

In addition, and in line with the planning application process, the Authority’s Planning Department may be consulting you separately about the planning submission for these proposals.

Further Information on the Background to this Scheme

The Castle School operates on a split site, with Years 7-11 based on the site at Park Road, which was built in the 1960s, and Years 12-13 (Sixth Form) based at Gloucester Road in accommodation previously used by Thornbury Grammar School. This arrangement has now been in place for fifty years, and neither site has seen any significant investment during this period, other than the addition of temporary accommodation in the 1980s and 1990s to house growing pupil numbers and the upgrading of sports facilities in the 2000s.

Castle School Education Trust (CSET) has been working since 2016 with South Gloucestershire Council to explore options for consolidating the school onto a single site, with an agreement reached in March 2019 which provides for the release of the Gloucester Road site and available funding to be used to upgrade facilities at both The Castle and Marlwood schools, supported jointly by South Gloucestershire Council and CSET.

The single site provision will resolve many longstanding issues affecting The Castle School:

  • Both sites are in poor condition following decades of under investment. The main Gloucester Road building was built in the 1930s, and the cost of addressing condition issues is greater than the cost of replacement. In addition, the school still uses temporary accommodation dating from the 1940s which cannot be brought up to a serviceable standard. The original building at Park Road requires complete refurbishment, and the older temporary units are well beyond the end of their expected life. 
  • The single-site project provides for a new classroom block and the refurbishment of the main buildings at Park Road to address these legacy condition issues. Long-standing issues with poor heating and ventilation, leaking roofs and general dilapidation will be addressed. Consequently, pupils and staff will benefit from significantly improved learning environments.
  • At the same time, the revised site layout will provide better accommodation for pupils by reconfiguring spaces to address changed educational usage over time. It will address pupil concerns such as the lack of toilet facilities as well as providing more appropriate teaching spaces for specialist curriculum areas.
  • The single site project will significantly reduce the school’s running costs. This includes high costs of repairs and maintenance, very high energy costs due to the inefficiency of old buildings, and the additional staffing costs of running two separate sites. This expenditure will be reinvested in educational resources. 
  • The single site will eliminate the need for staff to move between sites during the school day, reducing the complexity of school routines and improving the supervision of pupils during lesson transitions.
  • The Sixth Form will continue to have its own dedicated accommodation on the Park Road site, but students will benefit from easier access to specialist facilities, as well as the single site facilitating stronger links between the main school and the sixth form which will benefit pupils of all ages.

Overall, the proposed scheme, subject to availability of capital resources, provides new and refurbished accommodation, which is fit for purpose in the twenty-first century, enabling the school to continue providing a high-quality education for young people in Thornbury over the coming decades.

You can see the plans in the following documents:

If you are unable to attend the drop in event please provide your comments in one of the following ways by Wednesday 20th July:

  • email consultation@southglos.gov.uk
  • Provide your comments online here

  • Write or send your completed form to: South Gloucestershire Council, Consultation Team, The Council Offices Badminton Road, Yate, South Gloucestershire, BS37 5AF

This consultation has now closed and we are analysing the results, which will be published here in due course.

Timeline

  • Opened
    6 Jul 2022 at 09:00
  • Closed
    20 Jul 2022 at 23:59

Details

Consultation Topic
  • Education and early years
Geographical area
  • Thornbury
Marking a consultation as relevant to a particular audience indicates that it may be of special relevance to people within that group. It doesn't, however, mean that other groups wont find the consultation of interest - we welcome responses from everybody.
For example, education issues may be of particular interest to Parents & Guardians, and so will be shown to people searching the system for parenting issues, but the views of others (eg: Business, Faith Groups) are also relevant.
Target Audience
  • Children
  • Town and Parish Councils