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In partnership with Oxfordshire County Council, the Governors of The Marlborough C of E School consulted in summer 2022 on the principle of the proposal to increase the Published Admissions Number (PAN) of the school from 180 to 210. This proposal is to meet the need of more pupils in the area due to new local housing and respond to the consistent and on-going over-subscription of the school for many years. The response to that consultation was positive, with over 80% in favour of the proposal and a quarter of the comments sharing the assessment of there being a need for the expansion to ensure there was sufficient provision for the population in Woodstock and the wider catchment area of the school. A feasibility study was subsequently undertaken to assess the existing school accommodation against government guidelines and this identified that the school has the capacity for a 1- form entry expansion (an overall increase, over 5 years, of 150 pupils in total).

The consultation also highlighted a local concern about the impact of the scheme on traffic and parking, and a potential loss of green spaces. In response to this, a highways consultation has been appointed to ensure there are no adverse traffic impacts in Woodstock. The scheme submitted for planning includes significant remodelling of the access and parking arrangements in front of the school, including greatly improved coach parking, removing them from the highway, and reducing congestion. There will be no net loss of biodiversity, with a compensatory scheme to regenerate the wildlife wetland area at the rear of the site.

The outline of the scheme remains the same: a two storey six classroom block located to the west of the site, with additional changing facilities and remodelling of existing internal classroom space. The scheme also sees the redevelopment of the wetland area, to ensure there is no net loss to biodiversity on the site, and the remodelling of the front of the site to enable coaches to come off the road, and go through a one-way system at the front of the school. This is designed to reduce disruption to traffic flows on Shipton Road, and improve pedestrian safety at the entrance to the site.

In a change to the original proposal, and in line with the latest Oxfordshire County Council pupil place plan projections, the scheme is now scheduled to be completed and open for new students entering the school in September 2026.

The scheme is currently being considered by West Oxfordshire District Council, if you have any questions or comments about the scheme for the school, please use this form here

We are also holding an exhibition evening where representatives from the school, the Trust and Thinking Buildings will be available to answer any questions you may have. Please join us at the school on Monday 17th July any time between 6 - 8pm.

Valerie Munro

Chair of Governors

Marlborough School Expansion Summary And Proposed Works Plans

Marlborough School Expansion New Block And Extension Plans

Catchment Area

The Marlborough School Feedback Form

Frequently Asked Questions



Will the admissions arrangements for the school be changing? 

If permission is given for the school to expand then the admissions arrangements will be altered to increase the PAN by 30 children in Year 7. There are no other plans to make any other changes to the oversubscription criteria.

What are the proposed building works? 

Subject to funding, the preferred option that is currently being developed is to provide a new 6 room block to the west of the site. Some existing rooms will need to be remodelled (e.g. new science teaching rooms and DT provision) and additional changing rooms are also being planned. Further work is being done to progress this plan, which will be subject to planning permission processes.

How might the building work impact on my child who is already a pupil at the school?

As part of developing plans for expanding the school, the proposals have considered how best to minimise disruption in so far as possible to those students already attending The Marlborough. 

 The plan to deliver a new stand-alone block concentrates most of the additional new provision into one zone that is located on the edge of the site with good direct access to allow contractors to be segregated from pupils/staff. 

 Any other works to existing areas of the school will be programmed to take maximum advantage of school holidays. 

 Considerate contractor practices will be followed and health and safety will be continuously monitored by the project team. 

 Car parking needs throughout the build process will be factored into the plans. Should car parking space be required for a builder’s compound, temporary arrangements will be put in place for students and staff.   

With all the new housing in the area, why are only 30 places per year group at The Marlborough being considered, and not a new secondary school on a different site being considered? 

The county council is responsible for ensuring sufficient school places, and the Trust is working in partnership with the council to meet needs in this area.

 The future demand for new school places from housing development is considered alongside the general demand for school places from the local birth rate, which, following a boom in 2010-2012, has been steadily falling. As such the projected demand for secondary school places from new housing planned, approved (and built) in Woodstock will be met from a 30 place, per year group, expansion (150 new places in total), and is required from 2026.

 Across a wider area, the planned housing development south of Woodstock, in addition to sites around Kidlington and to the north of Oxford, is expected to need a new school, and the Cherwell Local Plan identifies a site for this at Begbroke. However, the timescale for this school depends on the progress of the housing developments, and it would not be open soon enough to meet the needs of Woodstock’s already growing population.

 A new school is therefore needed in addition to Marlborough’s expansion, but will be a longer-term project.

What other infrastructure changes will be considered - road structure and parking arrangements also need to be considered.

This scheme is to provide additional secondary education provision, it does not include funding for general road structures. However, the project team is in consultation with the Highways Team to consider how best to add additional capacity without negatively impacting the traffic, and a parking assessment has already been carried out to identify the additional parking needs that will be delivered as part of the project.

Will the expansion take into consideration Carbon Zero targets and EV charging points?

RLT and the school are committed to achieving NetZero, and we are working alongside the architects and designers to help ensure that this build considers, as far as is practically and reasonably possible in helping us to meet our commitment.  EV Charging points form part of this, although at this stage we do not know how many will be provided as part of this scheme.

Will the new parking - intended at the front of the school - impact on any of the trees on site?

There is a possibility that some of the trees on site might need to be removed to accommodate the expansion. However, the development plans also take into consideration the need to increase the biodiversity to negate the impact of the expansion, and therefore replacement/additional trees will be planted.   

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