Since we last reported on the shortage of middle school places affecting Fairfield children back in October, significant progress has been made towards opening Pix Brook Academy in time for September 2019. The school will be housed for the first year in a new building on the Etonbury campus before moving to its own brand new school site further along the Arlesey Road from September 2020.
Principal designate Steve Adams was appointed in November, in time for parents to meet him at two open evenings before making their school place applications by January. He will be taking up his post after the Easter holiday, although he is already devoting a significant amount of time to Pix Brook: attending meetings relating to both builds as well as internal meetings at Academy Trust BEST, with the head of Etonbury whose site the school will be sharing for the first year, with prospective parents, and with potential suppliers.
A governing board has recently been put in place, chaired by Sue Howley MBE who has extensive governance experience spanning almost 30 years, including at Fairfield Park Lower School, where she was chair for ten years and remains on the board. Sue is a National Leader of Governance and has brought with her four other experienced governors from FPLS, all of whom were involved with the expansion of the school.
In the absence of a parent body, four proxy parent governors have been appointed from the parents of the cohort applying for places this year, including two Fairfield residents. The board met for the first time on 4 February and will be meeting regularly after Easter once the principal is in post and the planning process gathers speed.
Steve Adams told FM: “I consider myself to be extremely fortunate to have a group of energetic and enthusiastic people working on the developments at Pix Brook Academy with me. We have made fantastic progress so far this year and I cannot wait to take up my post after Easter. Myself and others have started discussions about uniform, the structure and timing of the day and wrap around care. I have explained that we will be adopting a predominantly primary model [in the first year] with teachers of Key Stage 2 taking responsibility for the curriculum delivery. It is my intention to appoint a director of KS2 who will be accountable for the Y5 pupils’ progress. I am hoping to be able to make this appointment over the course of the next half term.”
The construction of the ‘temporary’ building at Etonbury (which is in fact a permanent building and will remain after Pix Brook moves to its own site in September 2020) began in February on the former car park, and is expected to be completed in August. Artist’s impressions are shown to the left and opposite. Planning for the permanent site to open in 2020 is under way.
Steve Adams will speak at the Annual Parish Meeting on 28 March.