A LEARNING trust has been chosen to establish a new primary school in Didcot.

The Omnia Learning Trust has been selected by Oxfordshire County Council to serve the new £13 primary school which is currently under construction in the northeast of the town.

Plans for the school were proposed by Croudace Homes and the University of Reading, who received outline planning permission from South Oxfordshire District Council, the planning authority, to build 1,880 homes - since named the Willowbrook Park estate.

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The school, which is being built in another housing development nearby named Willington Down, will mainly serve residents moving into the Willowbrook Park estate.

Herald Series: View towards main building from the South (Credit: Croudace Homes)View towards main building from the South (Credit: Croudace Homes)

It is set to admit 510 pupils from September 2023 and it also includes 90 nursery places for two and three-years-old.

This school forms part of the strategic planning for additional school capacity to meet the expected growth in pupil numbers arising from housing growth.

The Omnia Learning Trust, which is a multi-academy with comprises of three brand new primary academies all founded by the trust, has decided to name the new school “Sires Hill Primary Academy” due to its location.

The trust already has a “strong presence” in the town since opening Didcot Primary Academy, in Chestnut Drive, as a brand-new school in September 2016. The school was judged ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted in 2019 and is now full in every year group.

Alison Ashcroft, founding principal of Didcot Primary Academy, will take the helm as executive head of both schools.

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She said: “I am delighted to be given the opportunity to open another new school in Didcot as executive principal. 

Herald Series: The new primary school: View towards Nursery Classrooms from the West (Credit: Croudace Homes)The new primary school: View towards Nursery Classrooms from the West (Credit: Croudace Homes)

“Sires Hill Primary Academy children and staff will benefit from the extensive expertise that from entire school team at Didcot Primary Academy to ensure that we can offer a fulfilling and enriching curriculum from opening onwards.

“I look forward to meeting prospective families during the autumn term.”

Jodie Croft, chief executive officer, added: “We are delighted to be opening our third school in South Oxfordshire.

“Having schools in the same locality brings enormous benefits for staff and children alike. Through our shared experience of opening new schools, we know that children will be well supported from day one and throughout their primary education.

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“We look forward to meeting our prospective new families in the Autumn term and will be running open events at Didcot Primary Academy, to meet the principal and hear about our exciting plans for the school.”

Sires Hill Primary School will be the fifth school opened by the trust. It already has three schools across Oxfordshire and South West London with a fourth due to open in Surbiton soon.


Read more from this author

This story was written by Gee Harland, she joined the team in 2022 as a senior multimedia reporter.

Gee covers Wallingford, Wantage and Didcot.

Get in touch with her by emailing: Gee.harland@newsquest.co.uk

Follow her on Twitter @Geeharland

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