The High School, Leckhampton

On Wednesday 13 December 2017, Cabinet gave approval to establish a new 900 11-16 place secondary school in Cheltenham to meet the increased demand for secondary school places.

Funding for the school was approved by Council in February 2018, and planning permission was granted in May 2020. 

The school will be run by Balcarras Academy Trust. Balcarras is a highly successful 11-18 school situated in the heart of the Charlton Kings area of east Cheltenham. Consistently rated outstanding by Ofsted, it has also been recognised by The Sunday Times as the most successful comprehensive school in the South West in 2017, 2018 and 2019, and has been named as The Sunday Times Southwest State Secondary School of the Decade in 2020.

The school will open to Year 7 pupils only in September 2021 as a 4 forms of entry school, rising to 5 and then 6 forms of entry with an eventual capacity of 900.

Work began on the construction of the new school building in autumn 2020. Read about the ground breaking ceremony here. The current timescale for the opening of the new school is September 2021 in temporary accommodation at Balcarras (subject to planning consent), with the new building opening in 2022.

Find out more about Balcarras' plans for the new school.

Progress images

Public engagement information

Two engagement events were held on 13 and 27 June 2019, which gave people the chance to view the proposals and speak with key people from the education, planning and highways teams, the architects, and representatives from Balcarras Academy, who are sponsoring the school.

You can view the proposals from the events by clicking on the links below:

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Proposals for a new school in Cheltenham

Gloucestershire County Council (GCC) is responsible for planning and allocating local school places.

When planning places, the council considers factors such as the number of children in education in the town, the housing being developed and the local birth rate, to estimate the number of children entering year groups.

This information is then used to forecast the need for school places over the coming years.

Our forecasts have shown us that the school age population is rising and that there is a continuing need to increase the number of places in Cheltenham primary and secondary schools.

Year 7 Forecasts

To help meet this increased need we’ve worked with schools in Cheltenham to use up surplus capacity and add new places to existing local schools. However, it is not possible to continue to expand these local schools indefinitely.

As a result, the county council is looking at alternatives to help meet this increased demand, including the proposal of a new school in Cheltenham.

On Wednesday 13 December 2017,  Cabinet gave approval to establish a new 900 11-16 place secondary school in Cheltenham. Funding for the school was approved by Council in February 2018.

Following a selection process in June 2018, the Regional Schools Commissioner announced that the preferred sponsor for the new school is Balcarras School in Charlton Kings. 

In February 2019, Kier Construction were announced as the main contractor to deliver the construction of the new school.