Academy Trust says it will work on traffic around former post-16 centre

The chief executive of an academy trust says he understands the issues raised by residents during consultation for a new site in Spalding.

The results of a consultation carried out with the Springwell Academy Trust have been published.

The trust is likely to be opening a school for vulnerable young people in Matmore Gate at a former post-16 centre.

“We understand the challenges and sometimes frustration of everyone, everywhere who lives close to a school and welcome the tolerance, patience and understanding that school neighbours everywhere show,” said Mark Wilson.

“I appreciate that there has been a lot of discussion around the proposed schools, suitability of sites and shortage of mainstream education places in Lincolnshire. It is my hope that the report will address residents’ apprehensions,” he added.

The results of the consultation revealed that 21 people responded to the Spalding scheme. The trust is also opening academies at three other sites, in Grantham, Mablethorpe and Lincoln.

There were a total of 96 completed questionnaires and only 22.11 per cent related to the Spalding site.

More than half of the total responses disagreed with the locations proposed for the new facilities.

The trust came in for criticism as Spalding was not initially listed as a venue for a consultation meeting, but was added after pressure.

“The Spalding site is a bad location. Traffic and student safety are major concerns for the proposed Springwell academy. I am also concerned that the consultation process has been flawed throughout.

“Springwell has not sought to properly engage local schools and residents until made to do so,” says one of the comments within the consultation.

In response, the trust said: “The Wellspring Academy Trust fully understands the frustrations of the local residents and intends to work closely with the community to make traffic and student safety a priority.

“The pupils attending the proposed new school will be subject to high levels of supervision and will not be allowed to leave the school site at lunchtimes and breaks,” the document says.

Traffic was high on the list of concerns for the Matmore Gate site.

“Springwell Lincolnshire Academy will work closely with the local authority to design travel plans and implement any measures to help control the flow of traffic in the area, keeping impact on the roads and noise levels to a minimum,” says the report.

The new facility in Spalding is due to open to its first students in September.

“Wellspring Academy Trust is committed to providing a caring, nurturing environment,” said Mr Wilson.

You can read the full letter here.

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