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Announcement regarding Parkfield School's permanent site at Hurn

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. The other major obstacle is finding a site with the huge amount of land required to provide our school with adequate building space, outdoor recreational space, parking and safe drop off and pick up areas. 
Unfortunately we have not been able to secure a suitable site for the school in central Bournemouth and therefore the site search had to be extended beyond the Town Centre area. An outstanding opportunity became available, The former Air Traffic Control Training Centre (NATS) at Bournemouth Airport, and the EFA, the school Governors and I moved very quickly to secure this excellent site for Parkfield School. 
There are huge advantages for our school with acquisition of the former NATS site and in comparison relatively fewer, although quite significant disadvantages. 
  • The NATS site covers more than 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 learning, recreational space and parking as well as areas that will be specifically designated for drop off and pick ups. 

  • 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.
  • The EFA are prepared to build additional teaching spaces on the site e.g. a brand new four badminton court sports hall.
  • 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 safer 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 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. the possibility of providing a Parkfield Montessori Nursery.
  • Access to the site by road is good with further plans to substantially improve and develop the surrounding road network. 

 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. 
  • Although the Parent Council are investigating school buses which will be specifically for our students the school and Local Authority will not be able to subsidise the cost of transport.
  • 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. 

In year admissions for the current academic year - 2014/2015

All Parkfield School applications are co-ordinated by Bournemouth Local Authority admissions. Please apply directly to them if you wish to take up a place at Parkfield School.

Places are still available to students in Year 1, Year 2, Year 7, Year 8 Year 9 and Year 10.

Tours of the school for parents applying to Reception for 2015 will take place in the second half of the Autumn term 2014 (November  - December 2014). These will take place at the temporary site in central Bournemouth. Please note however, your child will start school in September 2015 at our new site in Hurn.

The open evening for parents applying to Year 7 or to Year 9 for September 2015 will take place at Dorset House on October 15th 2014. We will also be arranging an opportunity to tour the new site at Hurn. (date to be confirmed).


Secondary School Open Evening October 15th 2014.

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

Open Evening Powerpoint Presentation

Information for parents

IB MYP handout


Current Job Vacancies

There are no current vacancies


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 Dorset, 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.

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.


Pre-opening newsletters from the Principal: 

Funding Agreement signed

June 2013

April 2013

March 2013

February 2013

Free Schools Information:

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










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