Westfield Academy to be demolished and rebuilt with £20 million Government grant

Westfield Academy to be demolished and rebuilt with £20 million Government grant

Westfield Academy to be demolished and rebuilt with £20 million Government grant

Westfield Academy to be demolished and rebuilt with £20 million Government grant

First published in News Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author by , Senior Reporter

West Watford will get the school "it needs and deserves" following a £20 million government grant.

Westfield Academy, in Tolpits Lane, is destined to be demolished and a new school built in its place after it received a grant from the Department for Education.

The £20 million makeover will see the school’s aging facilities demolished and replaced with modern classrooms.

The school’s principal, Tim Body, said: "This is very exciting time. We will be having a brand new school from scratch.

"The design is green and eco-friendly, but it is also very forward thinking when it comes to modern ideas on teaching. 

"The new design will allow the flexibility to make better use of different types of learning environment, like libraries and learning zones."

New features will include seven Information Communication Technology rooms, a purpose-built Special Education Needs centre with dedicated therapy rooms, five new outdoor tennis courts and one county standard football pitch.

The school has been working on the redevelopment programme with the Education Funding Agency for the past two years.

Mr Body added: "We have been meeting with the design team regularly over the past two years to ensure that this community gets the school that it needs and deserves.

"We are currently a good school, but we are not satisfied with that. We want this build to be the catalyst to make us one of the best in the country.  It may seem like a lofty ambition, but our goal is to strive for excellence."

Mr Body said the new facilities will be open to the public and there are plans to develop adult evening education and sports classes.

He added: "Of course this is about offering the best possible opportunities for the pupils but it is also about the local people. Our hope is that the school becomes a community hub for education and excellence."

"We want to make partnerships with primary schools, with community groups and local businesses."

Pupil intake is also expected to increase, with a 25 percent rise in students once the work is completed.

Work is due to start at the end of the year and should be completed by September 2016.

The school will remain open during the redevelopment, with the new facilities being built alongside the existing one.

Residents are invited to the public consultation event at the school which is being held on Tuesday, April 22 at 3.30pm.

Comments (20)

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5:44pm Tue 15 Apr 14

ramage1996 says...

It seems west Watford is finally getting what it needs, A new health campus, new homes, new jobs, a new tube station and now a new academy.

Great news for one of the most deprived parts of Hertfordshire.
It seems west Watford is finally getting what it needs, A new health campus, new homes, new jobs, a new tube station and now a new academy. Great news for one of the most deprived parts of Hertfordshire. ramage1996
  • Score: 1

5:52pm Tue 15 Apr 14

Cuetip says...

We do really need to ensure that as much as possible, every child as the opportunity to go to a good stable school and reduce the mad scramble for a place in the popular ones.

Does anyone have any idea how old the school is as 'makeover will see the school’s aging facilities demolished and replaced with modern classrooms' or what is the expected life of the new facilities or teaching styles?

However it seems that everyone is using the same quotes 'one of the best in the country' and 'hub for education and excellence." One would hope that this does not need to be said because one would expect that delivering the best would be the aim of any service whether it be the NHS, the police or fixing roads.

PS Ageing (British English) or aging (American English)
We do really need to ensure that as much as possible, every child as the opportunity to go to a good stable school and reduce the mad scramble for a place in the popular ones. Does anyone have any idea how old the school is as 'makeover will see the school’s aging facilities demolished and replaced with modern classrooms' or what is the expected life of the new facilities or teaching styles? However it seems that everyone is using the same quotes 'one of the best in the country' and 'hub for education and excellence." One would hope that this does not need to be said because one would expect that delivering the best would be the aim of any service whether it be the NHS, the police or fixing roads. PS Ageing (British English) or aging (American English) Cuetip
  • Score: 0

6:40pm Tue 15 Apr 14

#luvreadingthesamemuppetscommentingasexperts says...

Cuetip wrote:
We do really need to ensure that as much as possible, every child as the opportunity to go to a good stable school and reduce the mad scramble for a place in the popular ones.

Does anyone have any idea how old the school is as 'makeover will see the school’s aging facilities demolished and replaced with modern classrooms' or what is the expected life of the new facilities or teaching styles?

However it seems that everyone is using the same quotes 'one of the best in the country' and 'hub for education and excellence." One would hope that this does not need to be said because one would expect that delivering the best would be the aim of any service whether it be the NHS, the police or fixing roads.

PS Ageing (British English) or aging (American English)
One would hope they run English classes for further education, then one may learn how to spell, and correct ones grammar! ........
[quote][p][bold]Cuetip[/bold] wrote: We do really need to ensure that as much as possible, every child as the opportunity to go to a good stable school and reduce the mad scramble for a place in the popular ones. Does anyone have any idea how old the school is as 'makeover will see the school’s aging facilities demolished and replaced with modern classrooms' or what is the expected life of the new facilities or teaching styles? However it seems that everyone is using the same quotes 'one of the best in the country' and 'hub for education and excellence." One would hope that this does not need to be said because one would expect that delivering the best would be the aim of any service whether it be the NHS, the police or fixing roads. PS Ageing (British English) or aging (American English)[/p][/quote]One would hope they run English classes for further education, then one may learn how to spell, and correct ones grammar! ........ #luvreadingthesamemuppetscommentingasexperts
  • Score: -3

9:47pm Tue 15 Apr 14

hethhornet says...

Oh, Lord, this makes me feel old as the building was less than two years old when I started there in 1964! I t was really state of the art then, with science, domestic science and art blocks. We had a wonderful swimming pool and gym, and coming from a Victorian primary school it was a real eye-opener.
Oh, Lord, this makes me feel old as the building was less than two years old when I started there in 1964! I t was really state of the art then, with science, domestic science and art blocks. We had a wonderful swimming pool and gym, and coming from a Victorian primary school it was a real eye-opener. hethhornet
  • Score: 9

10:40pm Tue 15 Apr 14

TRT says...

hethhornet wrote:
Oh, Lord, this makes me feel old as the building was less than two years old when I started there in 1964! I t was really state of the art then, with science, domestic science and art blocks. We had a wonderful swimming pool and gym, and coming from a Victorian primary school it was a real eye-opener.
It was built around the same time as the Print Block at West Herts College, Cassiobury Campus and Dacorum Campus. A massive expansion of modern teaching facilities in Hertfordshire at that time.
[quote][p][bold]hethhornet[/bold] wrote: Oh, Lord, this makes me feel old as the building was less than two years old when I started there in 1964! I t was really state of the art then, with science, domestic science and art blocks. We had a wonderful swimming pool and gym, and coming from a Victorian primary school it was a real eye-opener.[/p][/quote]It was built around the same time as the Print Block at West Herts College, Cassiobury Campus and Dacorum Campus. A massive expansion of modern teaching facilities in Hertfordshire at that time. TRT
  • Score: 3

11:58pm Tue 15 Apr 14

Cuetip says...

TRT wrote:
hethhornet wrote:
Oh, Lord, this makes me feel old as the building was less than two years old when I started there in 1964! I t was really state of the art then, with science, domestic science and art blocks. We had a wonderful swimming pool and gym, and coming from a Victorian primary school it was a real eye-opener.
It was built around the same time as the Print Block at West Herts College, Cassiobury Campus and Dacorum Campus. A massive expansion of modern teaching facilities in Hertfordshire at that time.
The £20 m spend on this school is in a climate where the state education system is still being used as a football with little stability.

The state system has had to cope with major structural changes eg course work was much abused, grade systems being over hauled as they were unreliable, new courses being launched, mixed ability teaching increasingly frowned upon, vocational courses being tested, EMAs being scrapped. Who remembers CPVE and CSEs or understands the Baccalaureate certificate or Btecs?

So while change seems inevitable, progress is not guaranteed regardless of the quality of the building.
[quote][p][bold]TRT[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]hethhornet[/bold] wrote: Oh, Lord, this makes me feel old as the building was less than two years old when I started there in 1964! I t was really state of the art then, with science, domestic science and art blocks. We had a wonderful swimming pool and gym, and coming from a Victorian primary school it was a real eye-opener.[/p][/quote]It was built around the same time as the Print Block at West Herts College, Cassiobury Campus and Dacorum Campus. A massive expansion of modern teaching facilities in Hertfordshire at that time.[/p][/quote]The £20 m spend on this school is in a climate where the state education system is still being used as a football with little stability. The state system has had to cope with major structural changes eg course work was much abused, grade systems being over hauled as they were unreliable, new courses being launched, mixed ability teaching increasingly frowned upon, vocational courses being tested, EMAs being scrapped. Who remembers CPVE and CSEs or understands the Baccalaureate certificate or Btecs? So while change seems inevitable, progress is not guaranteed regardless of the quality of the building. Cuetip
  • Score: 6

11:43am Wed 16 Apr 14

D_Penn says...

@#luvreadingthesamem
uppetscommentingasex
perts

You said, "One would hope they run English classes for further education, then one may learn how to spell, and correct ones grammar! ........"

Or even correct one's missing apostrophe....

(Sorry, couldn't resist the tease)
@#luvreadingthesamem uppetscommentingasex perts You said, "One would hope they run English classes for further education, then one may learn how to spell, and correct ones grammar! ........" Or even correct one's missing apostrophe.... (Sorry, couldn't resist the tease) D_Penn
  • Score: 4

12:29pm Wed 16 Apr 14

The Rover says...

Cuetip wrote:
TRT wrote:
hethhornet wrote:
Oh, Lord, this makes me feel old as the building was less than two years old when I started there in 1964! I t was really state of the art then, with science, domestic science and art blocks. We had a wonderful swimming pool and gym, and coming from a Victorian primary school it was a real eye-opener.
It was built around the same time as the Print Block at West Herts College, Cassiobury Campus and Dacorum Campus. A massive expansion of modern teaching facilities in Hertfordshire at that time.
The £20 m spend on this school is in a climate where the state education system is still being used as a football with little stability.

The state system has had to cope with major structural changes eg course work was much abused, grade systems being over hauled as they were unreliable, new courses being launched, mixed ability teaching increasingly frowned upon, vocational courses being tested, EMAs being scrapped. Who remembers CPVE and CSEs or understands the Baccalaureate certificate or Btecs?

So while change seems inevitable, progress is not guaranteed regardless of the quality of the building.
I disagree. Having lessons in classrooms with water dripping through the ceiling cannot be good.
[quote][p][bold]Cuetip[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]TRT[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]hethhornet[/bold] wrote: Oh, Lord, this makes me feel old as the building was less than two years old when I started there in 1964! I t was really state of the art then, with science, domestic science and art blocks. We had a wonderful swimming pool and gym, and coming from a Victorian primary school it was a real eye-opener.[/p][/quote]It was built around the same time as the Print Block at West Herts College, Cassiobury Campus and Dacorum Campus. A massive expansion of modern teaching facilities in Hertfordshire at that time.[/p][/quote]The £20 m spend on this school is in a climate where the state education system is still being used as a football with little stability. The state system has had to cope with major structural changes eg course work was much abused, grade systems being over hauled as they were unreliable, new courses being launched, mixed ability teaching increasingly frowned upon, vocational courses being tested, EMAs being scrapped. Who remembers CPVE and CSEs or understands the Baccalaureate certificate or Btecs? So while change seems inevitable, progress is not guaranteed regardless of the quality of the building.[/p][/quote]I disagree. Having lessons in classrooms with water dripping through the ceiling cannot be good. The Rover
  • Score: 3

12:42pm Wed 16 Apr 14

D_Penn says...

So many studies have been done that have proven that the surrounding environment has a big effect on people's feeling of well being and their working efficiency.

So this is very good news and let us hope that the replacement produces a building that is a pleasure to both look at and to work in. Get it right and thousands upon thousands of pupils will benefit for years to come.
So many studies have been done that have proven that the surrounding environment has a big effect on people's feeling of well being and their working efficiency. So this is very good news and let us hope that the replacement produces a building that is a pleasure to both look at and to work in. Get it right and thousands upon thousands of pupils will benefit for years to come. D_Penn
  • Score: 4

1:05pm Wed 16 Apr 14

Phil Cox - UKIP Mayoral candidate for Watford says...

I hope all the schools in Watford get help in improving their facilities. Money spent well on education is money spent well.
I hope all the schools in Watford get help in improving their facilities. Money spent well on education is money spent well. Phil Cox - UKIP Mayoral candidate for Watford
  • Score: 0

1:49pm Wed 16 Apr 14

Andrew1963 says...

Which secondary schools have the oldest main buildings in Watford? It was a long time now (2005), but i remember doing the secondary transfer visits and thought that of all the schools we visited Queens in Bushey had the most run down buioldings - but it did have a nice new science block that had just opened.
Which secondary schools have the oldest main buildings in Watford? It was a long time now (2005), but i remember doing the secondary transfer visits and thought that of all the schools we visited Queens in Bushey had the most run down buioldings - but it did have a nice new science block that had just opened. Andrew1963
  • Score: 0

4:37pm Wed 16 Apr 14

Wacko Jacko says...

This is good news indeed. With the recent expansion of so many primary schools in Watford, as well as at least two new ones coming on stream it was inevitable that something would have to happen to upgrade and expand secondary schools too. There's probably still a need for at least one more secondary school as well, but hopefully that will follow before long.
This is good news indeed. With the recent expansion of so many primary schools in Watford, as well as at least two new ones coming on stream it was inevitable that something would have to happen to upgrade and expand secondary schools too. There's probably still a need for at least one more secondary school as well, but hopefully that will follow before long. Wacko Jacko
  • Score: 2

6:03pm Wed 16 Apr 14

Cuetip says...

Wacko Jacko wrote:
This is good news indeed. With the recent expansion of so many primary schools in Watford, as well as at least two new ones coming on stream it was inevitable that something would have to happen to upgrade and expand secondary schools too. There's probably still a need for at least one more secondary school as well, but hopefully that will follow before long.
I'm just wondering if you know of any suitable sites left in Watford.
[quote][p][bold]Wacko Jacko[/bold] wrote: This is good news indeed. With the recent expansion of so many primary schools in Watford, as well as at least two new ones coming on stream it was inevitable that something would have to happen to upgrade and expand secondary schools too. There's probably still a need for at least one more secondary school as well, but hopefully that will follow before long.[/p][/quote]I'm just wondering if you know of any suitable sites left in Watford. Cuetip
  • Score: 5

6:18pm Wed 16 Apr 14

Andrew1963 says...

Cuetip wrote:
Wacko Jacko wrote:
This is good news indeed. With the recent expansion of so many primary schools in Watford, as well as at least two new ones coming on stream it was inevitable that something would have to happen to upgrade and expand secondary schools too. There's probably still a need for at least one more secondary school as well, but hopefully that will follow before long.
I'm just wondering if you know of any suitable sites left in Watford.
I would build a secondary school on the Watford Junction goods yard site - it is hardly used. Or what about Radlett Road - watford is keen to build on allotments. Or the Town hall. The office staff left there could move to new rented offices on clarendon road like the housing trust did a few years ago. Or how about putting a new school on the boys grammar playing fields on CPA.
[quote][p][bold]Cuetip[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Wacko Jacko[/bold] wrote: This is good news indeed. With the recent expansion of so many primary schools in Watford, as well as at least two new ones coming on stream it was inevitable that something would have to happen to upgrade and expand secondary schools too. There's probably still a need for at least one more secondary school as well, but hopefully that will follow before long.[/p][/quote]I'm just wondering if you know of any suitable sites left in Watford.[/p][/quote]I would build a secondary school on the Watford Junction goods yard site - it is hardly used. Or what about Radlett Road - watford is keen to build on allotments. Or the Town hall. The office staff left there could move to new rented offices on clarendon road like the housing trust did a few years ago. Or how about putting a new school on the boys grammar playing fields on CPA. Andrew1963
  • Score: 3

6:31pm Wed 16 Apr 14

Cuetip says...

The Rover wrote:
Cuetip wrote:
TRT wrote:
hethhornet wrote:
Oh, Lord, this makes me feel old as the building was less than two years old when I started there in 1964! I t was really state of the art then, with science, domestic science and art blocks. We had a wonderful swimming pool and gym, and coming from a Victorian primary school it was a real eye-opener.
It was built around the same time as the Print Block at West Herts College, Cassiobury Campus and Dacorum Campus. A massive expansion of modern teaching facilities in Hertfordshire at that time.
The £20 m spend on this school is in a climate where the state education system is still being used as a football with little stability.

The state system has had to cope with major structural changes eg course work was much abused, grade systems being over hauled as they were unreliable, new courses being launched, mixed ability teaching increasingly frowned upon, vocational courses being tested, EMAs being scrapped. Who remembers CPVE and CSEs or understands the Baccalaureate certificate or Btecs?

So while change seems inevitable, progress is not guaranteed regardless of the quality of the building.
I disagree. Having lessons in classrooms with water dripping through the ceiling cannot be good.
No one would disagree that schools should have buildings fit for purpose with playing fields.

But there are well documented reasons to explain the failure of the education system to deliver a quality education for all. The obsession with grade inflation, the target driven culture which pressurised schools to adopt 'soft courses and boards to boost their results, the falsification of attendance records to avoid being put under the spotlight.

The unmistakeable fact that emerges that thousands of children from the toughest backgrounds are being failed at school – leaving many without the skills needed for a decent job and consigned to a life on benefits.

We no longer simply expect teachers to teach, we ask them to work miracles in over crowded schools as they watch their playing fields filling up with all sorts of buildings. Research tells us that parenting has four or five times more impact on educational achievement than schooling. And while teachers try to instil personal responsibility, popular culture pulls children in the opposite direction. Companies sell Playboy-branded stationery to schoolgirls. Video games train young boys in violence and misogyny.

Of course a quality building is a must, but much more needs to be done and there is also a much wider move to erode the professional status of staff in public services eg teachers.

Education badly needs a period of stability.
[quote][p][bold]The Rover[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Cuetip[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]TRT[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]hethhornet[/bold] wrote: Oh, Lord, this makes me feel old as the building was less than two years old when I started there in 1964! I t was really state of the art then, with science, domestic science and art blocks. We had a wonderful swimming pool and gym, and coming from a Victorian primary school it was a real eye-opener.[/p][/quote]It was built around the same time as the Print Block at West Herts College, Cassiobury Campus and Dacorum Campus. A massive expansion of modern teaching facilities in Hertfordshire at that time.[/p][/quote]The £20 m spend on this school is in a climate where the state education system is still being used as a football with little stability. The state system has had to cope with major structural changes eg course work was much abused, grade systems being over hauled as they were unreliable, new courses being launched, mixed ability teaching increasingly frowned upon, vocational courses being tested, EMAs being scrapped. Who remembers CPVE and CSEs or understands the Baccalaureate certificate or Btecs? So while change seems inevitable, progress is not guaranteed regardless of the quality of the building.[/p][/quote]I disagree. Having lessons in classrooms with water dripping through the ceiling cannot be good.[/p][/quote]No one would disagree that schools should have buildings fit for purpose with playing fields. But there are well documented reasons to explain the failure of the education system to deliver a quality education for all. The obsession with grade inflation, the target driven culture which pressurised schools to adopt 'soft courses and boards to boost their results, the falsification of attendance records to avoid being put under the spotlight. The unmistakeable fact that emerges that thousands of children from the toughest backgrounds are being failed at school – leaving many without the skills needed for a decent job and consigned to a life on benefits. We no longer simply expect teachers to teach, we ask them to work miracles in over crowded schools as they watch their playing fields filling up with all sorts of buildings. Research tells us that parenting has four or five times more impact on educational achievement than schooling. And while teachers try to instil personal responsibility, popular culture pulls children in the opposite direction. Companies sell Playboy-branded stationery to schoolgirls. Video games train young boys in violence and misogyny. Of course a quality building is a must, but much more needs to be done and there is also a much wider move to erode the professional status of staff in public services eg teachers. Education badly needs a period of stability. Cuetip
  • Score: 2

10:16pm Wed 16 Apr 14

ancientandageing says...

This is great news however as an Academy surly iy had money spent on it relativly recently,. I would also ask have we got any non selective, non academy local schools left nearby
This is great news however as an Academy surly iy had money spent on it relativly recently,. I would also ask have we got any non selective, non academy local schools left nearby ancientandageing
  • Score: 0

3:38pm Thu 17 Apr 14

Wacko Jacko says...

Andrew1963 wrote:
Cuetip wrote:
Wacko Jacko wrote:
This is good news indeed. With the recent expansion of so many primary schools in Watford, as well as at least two new ones coming on stream it was inevitable that something would have to happen to upgrade and expand secondary schools too. There's probably still a need for at least one more secondary school as well, but hopefully that will follow before long.
I'm just wondering if you know of any suitable sites left in Watford.
I would build a secondary school on the Watford Junction goods yard site - it is hardly used. Or what about Radlett Road - watford is keen to build on allotments. Or the Town hall. The office staff left there could move to new rented offices on clarendon road like the housing trust did a few years ago. Or how about putting a new school on the boys grammar playing fields on CPA.
Shortage of sites is indeed a challenge for such a small borough, but there still are some. The obvious ones include the land at the back of Junction Station or one of our ageing business parks. I was going to suggest the site in Leggatts where they're building homes - wasn't that a school before it closed? Why?
[quote][p][bold]Andrew1963[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Cuetip[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Wacko Jacko[/bold] wrote: This is good news indeed. With the recent expansion of so many primary schools in Watford, as well as at least two new ones coming on stream it was inevitable that something would have to happen to upgrade and expand secondary schools too. There's probably still a need for at least one more secondary school as well, but hopefully that will follow before long.[/p][/quote]I'm just wondering if you know of any suitable sites left in Watford.[/p][/quote]I would build a secondary school on the Watford Junction goods yard site - it is hardly used. Or what about Radlett Road - watford is keen to build on allotments. Or the Town hall. The office staff left there could move to new rented offices on clarendon road like the housing trust did a few years ago. Or how about putting a new school on the boys grammar playing fields on CPA.[/p][/quote]Shortage of sites is indeed a challenge for such a small borough, but there still are some. The obvious ones include the land at the back of Junction Station or one of our ageing business parks. I was going to suggest the site in Leggatts where they're building homes - wasn't that a school before it closed? Why? Wacko Jacko
  • Score: 1

8:06pm Thu 17 Apr 14

Cuthbert007 says...

Where is.the money coming from to pay for this? This country is in serious debt and we need to save money. The teachers are the ones who make a good or very good school not the class room. Maybe parents should pay towards it.
Where is.the money coming from to pay for this? This country is in serious debt and we need to save money. The teachers are the ones who make a good or very good school not the class room. Maybe parents should pay towards it. Cuthbert007
  • Score: 0

12:17pm Fri 18 Apr 14

Cuetip says...

Wacko Jacko says...
Shortage of sites is indeed a challenge for such a small borough, but there still are some. The obvious ones include the land at the back of Junction Station or one of our ageing business parks. I was going to suggest the site in Leggatts where they're building homes - wasn't that a school before it closed? Why?

Is planning one of WBC's few remaining functions or we going to begin the musical chairs of passing the buck again leaving voters in a spin as you gaily proceed proceed with building 750 homes - not forgetting all the infilling - in West Watford?
Wacko Jacko says... Shortage of sites is indeed a challenge for such a small borough, but there still are some. The obvious ones include the land at the back of Junction Station or one of our ageing business parks. I was going to suggest the site in Leggatts where they're building homes - wasn't that a school before it closed? Why? Is planning one of WBC's few remaining functions or we going to begin the musical chairs of passing the buck again leaving voters in a spin as you gaily proceed proceed with building 750 homes - not forgetting all the infilling - in West Watford? Cuetip
  • Score: 0

5:49pm Fri 18 Apr 14

Roy Stockdill says...

Why not close this school completely and build a new school on the site but make it a grammar school for the brighter and cleverer kids who can cope with a proper academic education (f there are any in West Watford)? Those who can't can be shipped elsewhere. Let's face it, decades of comprehensive education have failed dismally and produced a generation - no, make that two or three generations - that is only semi-literate and semi-numerate.
Why not close this school completely and build a new school on the site but make it a grammar school for the brighter and cleverer kids who can cope with a proper academic education (f there are any in West Watford)? Those who can't can be shipped elsewhere. Let's face it, decades of comprehensive education have failed dismally and produced a generation - no, make that two or three generations - that is only semi-literate and semi-numerate. Roy Stockdill
  • Score: -1

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