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Wednesday, April 12, 2017 - 09:15

Issued on behalf of the Atlantic Centre of Excellence Trust

Plans for a new two-form entry primary school and a new nursery for St Austell and the Clay Area have been approved  by the Department for Education, it was announced today (Wednesday April 12).
The new primary school and nursery will be part of the West Carclaze Eco-Community and will be known as the ACE Sky Academy and Eden Project Nursery.

The body behind it is the Atlantic Centre of Excellence Trust, in partnership with the Eden Project and Eco Bos Development, the company behind the West Carclaze Eco-Community.

The school will be based on the national curriculum and enriched with learning about sustainability and global citizenship. 
It is planned that the school will cater for 420 pupils and build up from Foundation Stage in the first year of opening from September 2019. 
The capacity of the new Eden Project Nursery planned for the same site will be 60 children aged three and four years old. The nature-inspired nursery will be led by Eden and involve children being outside 80 per cent of the time. 
This outdoor learning ethos is the key first step for the youngest children of the West Carclaze Eco-Community in becoming globally and environmentally aware and fully prepared for life and learning in the 21st Century.
The Atlantic Centre of Excellence Trust and the Eden Project advocate an outdoor learning approach and believe that it leads to significant benefits for children’s health, happiness, well-being and development, in their relationship to nature and each other. 
Welcoming the news, Jennie Walker CEO said on behalf of the Atlantic Centre of Excellence Trust: “This is fantastic and we are really pleased with the announcement, we will put our heart and soul into providing an outstanding education for the children of the new school, existing area and new community. The building will enhance our ethos of sustainability and we will use the fantastic environment to create unrivalled outdoor based learning.”
John Hodkin, Eco Bos Managing Director said: “The early provision of a new primary school and nursery is a key commitment in the first phase of the development and we are pleased to have worked in collaboration with the Ace Academy and Eden in this bid to create something truly special on our site.
“Following the recent allocation of Garden Village status to our West Carclaze proposals we are pleased that the government has again recognised the transformation potential of this innovative project and decided to give its backing to an educational facility which will benefit both new residents and the surrounding local communities.”
Gordon Seabright, Managing Director of the Eden Project, said: “The Eden Project is an educational charity.  We’ve long championed the cause of children learning from nature and play, and we’re thrilled at the opportunity this announcement represents for children and parents in our area.  The ACE Sky Academy will be an exceptional school, thanks in part to the invaluable support of Eco Bos, developers of the garden village at West Carclaze, as well as the excellence of the ACE Multi-Academy Trust team.  We’re especially excited about the inclusion of the Eden Project Nursery, the first extension of Little Eden, our unique outdoor pre-school, where young children will learn and play outdoors – a fantastic asset for the new community.”
Approval of the academy and nursery school is the culmination of many months of dedication and hard work. To complete the lengthy application form the Atlantic Centre of Excellence Trust had to write detailed education plans and budgets; explain why the school is needed by this community and demonstrate that it has local support. 
The proposal was also supported by the New Schools Network.
Interested parents can find out more at
The Department of Education announced 131 new schools, creating more than 69,000 new school places. The Department says that it is the biggest wave of free school approvals this Parliament.
The Department added that free schools are one of the highest performing group of non-selective state schools, with 29 per cent of those inspected rated outstanding by Ofsted. Since 2014, more than 80 per cent of mainstream free schools have been approved in areas where there was a need for more school places while others are opened in response to parental demand to create competition and drive up standards where existing provision is not adequate.