Twelve months ago, construction began on one of MK’s largest schools – and it’s also set to be one of the greenest in the region.
Glebe Farm School, which opens in September and will be run by the Inspiring Futures through Learning Multi-Academy Trust (IFtL), was commissioned by MK Council to create places for up to 1,530 pupils. As an ‘all through’ school it will cater for children from reception through to year 11, as well as offering a 39-place nursery.
Local residents will be able to use a range of on-site sports facilities including indoor courts and outdoor pitches, with a separate entrance to the main school gates. Dedicated walking and cycling routes will also ensure children and their families can access the school safely whilst reducing the need for cars.
The school will be gas free in line with the Council’s vision for future sustainability. Instead, air source heat pumps will absorb heat from the outside air to provide the energy needed for heating and hot water. All lighting will come from ultra-efficient LEDs whilst hundreds of solar panels will generate power for the building. Around 850 trees have been planted on the grounds, donated by the Woodland Trust.
Even the construction site for the school has been powered by a massive solar power plant.
Milton Keynes Council is well on track to be carbon neutral by 2030 and carbon negative by 2050. Over the past eight years, the Council has opened six new schools and expanded 24 others, creating thousands of new local school places. In each case, planners, architects and builders have aimed to make a positive impact on the environment by using clever designs and new, greener technologies.
Cllr Zoe Nolan, Cabinet Member for Children and Families said: “Our new school at Glebe Farm is a brilliant example of how buildings can contribute positively to the community and to the environment. This significant new school won’t rely on fossil fuels and is packed full of technology to make the best use of natural resources, and to keep fuel bills low for the school. By taking on the challenge of building sustainable new schools we’re helping the school financially in the longer term.”
Alongside developing new greener schools, MK Council is committed to maintaining and improving existing schools. A rolling programme of work includes upgrading roofs, windows, and doors to be more energy efficient, switching to LED light fittings, and replacing gas boilers with greener alternatives.
Cllr Nolan added: “This new school will provide continuous support for young people as they progress through full-time education. This will create all sorts of opportunities for mentoring across years and removes the anxiety often associated with moving between schools.”