Potters Bar Park Education Support Centre to relocate to Hatfield
- Credit: Chris Flanagan
Hertfordshire County Council has approved the relocation of The Park Education Support Centre in Potters Bar to a site in Hatfield.
The Park Education Support Centre (ESC) will move from its two locations in Potters Bar to the former Southfield School site on Travellers Lane.
The centre is also set to become a sponsored academy after being issued with a Directive Academy Order following an inadequate OFSTED report.
The Park ESC will occupy the former Southfield School site as of August 1.
The relocation is planned to be ready for the start of the new academic year, to minimise any disruption to pupils, parents/carers and staff.
The county council believes that the current location of the ESC sites make it difficult for some pupils to get to school each day or arrive on time, and consequently attendance rates are significantly below average.
Furthermore, the ESC was judged inadequate by Ofsted in January 2018 and the location of its sites was identified as a contributing factor to the ESC's poor performance.
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Additionally the majority of pupils, 67.5 per cent, attending the ESC in recent years came from the Welwyn Hatfield area, while just under a third, 32.5 per cent, came from Potters Bar and Borehamwood.
The former Southfield School site in Travellers Lane was vacated in 2013 and has been unused since then.
The condition has deteriorated and works are required to bring it back up to building regulation.
A budget of £500,000 has been approved to complete the works to make the site fit for use.
These decisions follow a public consultation which was held over a four-week period from May 20 to June 16.
At the close of the consultation there had been 28 responses, all of which were in favour of the changes.
The cabinet agreed to grant a standard Department for Education Academy Lease at a peppercorn rent to the new provider for the former Southfield School site in Travellers Lane, and the remaining land on the site will managed by the county council.
The academy sponsor chosen by the Department for Education is Links Academy Trust, who would not adopt the school at its present location. The relocation of the school therefore enables academisation.