New school building for Bulford

Pupils and staff celebrated the opening of a new £1.5m school building in Bulford on Friday as the village makes preparations for the Army rebasing.

Devizes MP Claire Perry declared the building at Bulford St Leonard's officially open and cut the ribbon.

It has been built in readiness for the Army’s rebasing of three regiments and their families from Germany to the Salisbury Plain - with the arrival of 5 Rifles this summer and further regiments following over the next three years.

The school currently has around 245 children aged four to 11, and the new building will allow it to expand to offer a total of 315 places.

Headteacher Sarah Ward said: “Pupil numbers in the Salisbury Plain area are set to rise dramatically, this fabulous new building means not only do we have outstanding new facilities, we also have space to grow gradually, and get used to how the school works for us all, as we expand over the next three years.”

Governors, staff and pupils have all had a hand in the design and workings of the new school, which is based on an off-site modular building technique and was built in 21 weeks

The new building will house three extra classrooms, offices, meeting rooms and a creative studio. It incorporates solar power and rainwater harvesting for flushing the toilets.

Richard Gamble, Wiltshire Council portfolio holder for education, skills and youth, said:  “We’ve worked closely with the staff and governors as they welcome more children into the school – both service children and additional families moving into the area.   “The facilities provided will ensure the excellent work carried out by this school can continue in surroundings which will give each child the best opportunity to thrive and reach their full potential.”

According to Wiltshire Council education officer Tom Lindsay, the Salisbury Plain area needs to provide 1,200 extra school places for 2019. It is anticipated 800 of these additional places will be for primary school aged children.