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Bright future ahead for pupils at new £4.5 million Derbyshire school

Published: 28 October 2019

A new £4.5 million primary school has been officially opened in Derbyshire – the second within a week – helping to give local children the best start in life.


Cllr Alex Dale at the official opening of The Mease Spencer Academy - Oct 2019
Bright future: Our Cabinet Member for Young People Councillor Alex Dale joined young pupils, staff, partnership agencies and guests at the official opening of the new Mease Spencer Academy in Hilton.

We approved plans to build the school in Hilton in 2014 and provided £172,600 start-up costs required to ensure everything was in place for it to open to pupils on schedule this term.

The Mease Spencer Academy has been designed and built by the housing developer St Modwen and is operated by the George Spencer Academy Trust.

The 7-classroom state-of-the-art school opened its doors to pupils at the start of the new term on 5 September 2019 and was officially opened on Wednesday (23 October 2019) in a ceremony with staff, children, our Cabinet Member for Young People Councillor Alex Dale and other representatives from the council, the Trust and the building developer.

Councillor Dale said:

“We’re so pleased to be part of this exciting new project helping to provide children in Hilton with the best possible start to their school life.

“We’ve worked in close partnership with the trust, the building developer and the principal and staff at the school and it’s great to see all the hard work from decision making, planning, funding and building come to fruition with the doors opening to its first pupils this term.

“I’m confident The Mease Spencer Academy will create a lasting legacy helping children aspire and achieve their potential for generations to come, as well as providing benefits for the wider community with its shared-use facilities.”

The new 7-classroom school, in The Mease, can accommodate up to 210 pupils aged from 4 to 11 and facilities include:

  • spacious hall
  • library
  • outdoor learning areas
  • multi-use games area and football pitch which will also be available for use by the local community
  • sustainable building features including solar panels and underfloor heating

Mease Spencer Academy Principal Julia Hart said:

“Children, families and staff are all so excited to be part of this unique opportunity to be the founding members of our new school!

“We are absolutely thrilled with the facilities and space it offers and our state of the art environment is the perfect place for Spencer children to start their learning journey.

“We all look forward to growing into our school and providing a valuable hub for a new community.”

The George Spencer Academy Trust used council funding to pay for the school’s set-up including the recruitment of teaching staff, pupil admissions, financial and legal arrangements, building management and other essential preparation work.

Spencer Academies Trust Chief Executive Paul West said:

“The Mease Spencer Academy is the result of a shared vision between our Spencer Academies Trust and Derbyshire County Council to deliver outstanding primary education for children in the community.

“We look forward to supporting Principal Julia Hart and her team as we build on the fantastic work that has already been done.”

Steven Smith, construction manager at St Modwen which built the school, said:

“It’s fantastic to see teachers and pupils already enjoying their new school and we’re proud to have worked alongside Derbyshire County Council to deliver a first-class teaching facility that will stand the Hilton community in good stead for many years to come.”

Almost 500 new houses are to be built on a site at The Mease with more than 145 already complete and the school will accommodate the expected increase in primary-age children living in the area.

Hilton already has the largest primary school in Derbyshire in Peacroft Lane with around 800 pupils on its roll so the need for a new school was clear as soon as the housing development was first proposed.

Councillor Dale added:

“The Mease Spencer Academy will ensure families in the Hilton area will have the choice of 2 excellent schools, helping to give local children the best possible start in life.”

The school is the second George Spencer Trust academy to open with our support within a week.

Councillor Dale was also on hand to attend the official opening of the new £4 million Chellaston Fields Spencer Academy on Tuesday 22 October 2019.

We approved plans to build the school in Chellaston in 2017 and provided £600,000 towards the construction.