Announcement regarding Parkfield School's permanent site

As many of you are aware the search for an appropriate permanent site for Parkfield School has been an extremely difficult journey. Over a three year period the Education Funding Agency (EFA), which is a branch of the Department for Education, has been working with the Trustees and myself to secure a suitable site for our school. 
One of the major obstacles to securing a site in a central area of Bournemouth is the planning restrictions which prevent much of the land in this area being used for anything other than business/office use or Higher Education (University). We were fortunate to secure a temporary change of use on Dorset House for a maximum of a two year period, which the Planning Authority at Bournemouth Council are not prepared to extend. The other major obstacle is finding a site with the huge amount of land required to provide our school with adequate building space and outdoor space. 
After the disappointment of losing our proposed site in June 2012 and the consequent delay in the school’s opening, we found a site in central Bournemouth, which was outside of the restricted area for planning and therefore had the potential to become the permanent site for Parkfield School. 
Negotiations started in October 2012 and although meetings with the Local Planning Authority have been positive and the land owners are very keen to sell to us, the current occupiers of part of the land have had to go through a lengthy consultation process as part of their reorganisation. 
The EFA’s timeline required planning permission to be obtained by October 2013 and for the work on site to start by December 2013, at the latest. 
Unfortunately, the consultation process continued for much longer than anticipated and indeed continues to do so and therefore, regrettably, the EFA have made the decision that the on-going delay in finalising the purchase of this land has created far too much of a risk and that the new school building works could not be completed in time for September 2015. 
As a result, the search for a new permanent site continued and an outstanding opportunity became available very recently. The former Air Traffic Control Training Centre (NATS) at Bournemouth Airport came to the market and the EFA, the school Governors and I have moved very quickly to secure the site for Parkfield School. 
The move out of the town centre will probably come as a shock to many families but I am sure that there will be many of you who will be extremely pleased and excited about the new site and the enormous opportunities it provides the school with. Also, quite understandably, there will be those of you who are disappointed that the new site is not in the centre of Bournemouth, as was always the plan. 
Unfortunately, we have no choice as we have, quite simply, run out of options for the permanent site in the Bournemouth area and it is either move the school out of the town centre or close Parkfield School.
There are huge advantages for our school with acquisition of the NATS site and in comparison relatively fewer, although quite significant disadvantages. 
  • The NATS site covers 8 acres, larger than most secondary schools in the area, compared to a maximum of 1.5 acres that we would have had in central Bournemouth thus providing fantastic opportunities for outside space. 

  • The existing buildings on the site are purpose built as teaching classrooms with the additional advantage of some huge open plan halls, which will give us some very flexible options providing excellent learning environments. 

  • The existing buildings are no more than 2 storeys high. 
  • The site has over 400 car parking spaces, thus allowing drop off and pick up times to be easier and safer. 
  • The site has areas of grass and landscaping and the EFA are considering options around extending the green areas on the site. 
  • The EFA are prepared to build additional teaching spaces on the site e.g. sports facilities.
  • We have the opportunity to provide outdoor Montessori teaching spaces which are immediately attached and on the same level as the classroom spaces. 
  • The site is safe and secure and a much better option in terms of location than any of the proposed sites in the town centre. 
  • Despite being at the airport, the noise and air pollution levels are far lower than in our current location on Christchurch Road. 
  • The site already has the required planning consent for educational use (D1) and therefore we will not face any significant restrictions or delays from the Local Planning Authority. 
  • The current buildings on the site have an area of over 93,000 square feet which is much larger than we would ever have acquired in the town centre even if we built another multi storey premises. 
  • The larger site gives us the opportunity to expand the school, e.g. providing a Parkfield Montessori Nursery.
  • Access to the site by road is good with further plans to improve and develop the surrounding road network. 
  • Public transport is available from Yellow Bus Company. 

 The disadvantages are:

  • The school will not be in the central Bournemouth area as originally planned and therefore children who currently live close to the town centre will need to travel. 
  • Public transport is currently only available from the town centre or Bournemouth hospital.
  • There will not be as much new build as was planned with the previous location, but this would have been a multi storey (minimum of 4/5 floors) which is not ideal. 
  • It is in a different Local Authority (Dorset) although this will not affect parents’ choice to attend the school from Bournemouth and Poole. 
  • The catchment area of the school will change in the future, with priority still being given to families with siblings already attending school, but with the distance from the school being the other major factor influencing securing a place at Parkfield. This will potentially bring families in from North Dorset, Parley, Ferndown, etc. and from East Dorset, Christchurch and surrounding areas. 

Bournemouth's first Free School is now open.

Parkfield School is an all through, age 4 – 19, mixed gender, two form entry Free School and it is directly funded from the Government. 
This means that although the school is independent from Local Authority control parents do not have to pay for their children to be educated at Parkfield.
Parkfield School will offer a genuine alternative education and allow greater choice to the local communities of Bournemouth and Poole.
At Reception and Key Stage 1 the pupils will be taught using the Montessori method, at Key Stage 2 we will be offering the International Primary Curriculum and in the Secondary sector of the school we will be offering the International Baccalaureate. Students in the secondary sector of the school will also take GCSE courses.
The school opened in September 2013 at Dorset House on Christchurch Road in central Bournenmouth with children in Reception, Year 1, Year 2, Year 3, Year 4, Year 7, Year 8 and Year 9.
Dorset House is a temporary site for the school with plans for a new permanent site close to Bournemouth Airport which will be ready in September 2015.

Admissions 2014/2015

All Parkfield School applications for entry into Reception and Year 7 for September 2014 (and thereafter) are co-ordinated by Bournemouth, Poole and Dorset Local Authorities. Please apply directly to them if you wish to take up a place at Parkfield School.

Places are still available now for for current Year 7 and Year 8 students.

Tours of the school for parents applying to Reception for 2015 will take place in the second half of the Autumn term 2014.

Tours of the school for parents applying to Year 7 for 2015 will take place in the second half of the Summer term and first half of the Autumn term 2014. We will also be arranging an information sharing open evening in the Summer term (date to be confirmed).

Places are still available to students in Year 8 Year 9 and Year 10 starting September 2014.


Secondary School Open Evening October 2014

Information booklets and the powerpoint presentation from the recent Open Evening can be downloaded below:

Information for parents

IB MYP handout

Open Evening Powerpoint presentation


About Parkfield School

Parkfield School is an all-through, 4 - 19, co-educational free school offering a fresh approach and choice that allows pupils to discover learning, unlock their potential, find their place in their community and play their part in society.

Parkfield School is part of the Government’s ‘Free Schools’ programme that allows local people to shape schools in line with what they consider to be beneficial to improving education for children in their community.

Our ethos is simple – to nurture, inspire and enable. To do so we blend a primary curriculum based on Montessori principles with a secondary education provided through the International Baccalaureate programme. We let pupils find themselves and then equip them with the skills and learning they need to find their way in modern society.


Parkfield School has been approved by the Department for Education to move to the pre-opening stage. This is the official site for the school. We are also working closely with Bournemouth and Poole Borough Councils and the Local Education Authority.


Newsletters from the Principal: 

Funding Agreement signed

June 2013

April 2013

March 2013

February 2013


Current Job Vacancies


Teacher of Boys PE

Teacher of Geography

Teacher of MFL (French or Spanish)

Generalist teacher to teach a range of subjects, mainly to Year 7. 

Positions may be available on a part time basis to teach KS3 in the following subjetcs:

  • Maths
  • English
  • Science
  • ICT

Please contact if you are interested in a part time position in one or more of the above subjects.


Teacher of Year 3

Teacher of Year 4

Teacher of KS1

Further details can be found here.


Free Schools Information:

For more information on Free Schools, you can visit the Department for Education page here.










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