Exhibition of proposals for a relocated primary school in Uplyme announced

Exhibition of proposals for a relocated primary school in Uplyme announced

Mrs Ethelston’s Trustees schedule event to showcase plans

The Trustees and teaching staff of Mrs Ethelston’s Primary School are holding a two-day exhibition at the school building in Uplyme to present proposals for a new, relocated primary school on land between Uplyme Village Hall and the Guinness housing currently under construction on Lyme Road. The event takes place between 3pm and 8pm on Friday 21st and 9am and 1pm on Saturday 22nd September, and refreshments will be served. There’s also a VIP event, for press and local dignitaries on the 21st from 3pm-3.30pm.

At the exhibition, which showcases plans for the proposed build on display boards and the children’s ideas for a new school, members of the School Build Planning Team will be available to answer questions, attendees will be encouraged to complete a feedback form.

The existing school falls well short of providing decent facilities for the children of Uplyme, with limited and poor quality teaching space; no school hall for assembly, lunchtimes and wet play; inadequate facilities; no grassed area for outside sports; and issues with subsidence. In addition, there are currently six classrooms for seven year groups, meaning that peer groups have to be split.

“The existing school cannot be improved in situ,” explains Chairman of the Trustees Neil Pullinger. “The site is too small and there are land stability issues. A major reconfiguration of the existing school would be very expensive and disruptive and would fail to deliver the step-change in facilities that is so badly needed.”

The build proposal includes a new two-storey school building incorporating a hall, seven classrooms, administration offices, storage and visitor reception, as well as a grassed area for team sports. The design and layout of the proposal have been shaped by planning, transportation and flood risk considerations – and further information will be available at the exhibition.  
The school building will be set back from the Guinness housing and Lyme Road, and will face away from the housing, sympathetic to the needs of the community and designed to complement the village. The location of the proposed school building has been established following extensive modelling and discussions with the Environment Agency, which has now accepted the principle of the layout.

The Trustees are preparing an outline planning application for the proposal, which they hope to submit in the next few weeks. They hope to establish the principle of the new school on the site by obtaining an outline planning permission. Visual appearance and landscaping will be addressed at the detailed planning stage, but the Trustees envisage a high standard of sustainable design and building operations. The aim is to create a high quality learning environment for children and teachers.

When the school was first established in 1854, the school land and buildings were given to the Ethelston & Bestic School Foundation to be held in trust for the education of future generations of children in Uplyme. The Foundation is a registered charity (Charity Number 306751) and its Trustees are representatives of the Management of the school, Uplyme Church, the Diocese and the Parish Council.

It is the responsibility of the Trustees to locate and purchase a new school site in the event of one being required. Trustees must also liaise with Devon Education Authority, the Diocese and the governors & staff of the school in order to facilitate the building and opening of the new school.

It is also the Trustees’ responsibility to dispose of the existing school site, and this will be done with great sensitivity to the importance of the existing school site within the village. The sale proceeds will form part of the Trust funds to be used to help finance the new school and for the future education of children from the village.


For further info contact Rob Lane, Bigger Boat PR on 07986 113 722.
(Rob is also a Trustee and Governor at Mrs Ethelston’s, which is part of the Acorn Federation)

View from the South East
View From Above