Woodhouse Lane site - secondary school

Hampshire County Council, working with the Education and Skills Funding Agency and alongside Wildern Academy Trust, has developed proposals for a 7-form entry secondary free school (capacity for 1,050 pupils) - with potential in the future to expand to a 9-form entry (capacity for 1,350 pupils) if required - on the Woodhouse Lane site.

Wildern Academy Trust has been approved by the Education and Skills Funding Agency as sponsor for the new secondary School.  Subject to planning permission being granted, the new school will meet local education needs.

The Academy Trust will instil its key principles and ethos of care, opportunity and quality in the new school and will continue to offer outstanding learning experiences for each child within the community.

“As an outstanding provider we have an excellent track record and are in a strong position to sponsor and establish a further outstanding educational provision. The new school will embrace our culture and ethos, play an important role in the new community and provide exciting opportunities for shared learning and development – for both staff and pupils.” Marie Lou Litton, headteacher of Wildern School

The proposals

  • The main school building – the high-quality design provides a modern learning environment for pupils and staff, with appropriate levels of safeguarding, in a highly energy efficient building.  The three storey building includes a central library/learning resource centre, general and ICT rich classrooms, science labs, art rooms, design and technology rooms and a music and drama department. 
  • Staff parking to the west of the main school building.
  • A sports hall – with changing facilities and courts.
  • A floodlit, three court multi-use games area (MUGA).
  • Grass sports pitches – to include a small and full-size football pitch, rugby pitch, cricket pitch, hockey pitch and athletics track.  The school sports pitches would be accessed via a pedestrian bridge through the SINC from within the main school site.

The presence of the SINC at the centre of the site would contribute to a truly unique environment for the school and the surrounding residential development and this potential offered by the connection with the natural environmental has been incorporated into the design principles for the school through the use of large windows and open corridors, which connect views of the SINC with the main building.

Community use

In addition to use of the school sport provision by pupils, some of the facilities at the school have the potential to be made for use out of hours by community-based groups and sports organisations. Community use has been carefully considered as part of the building design to ensure that security of the school can be maintained, with minimal administration or management required from the school.

Zoning of areas to allow out of hours use of the building has been enabled through the design, so that additional revenue streams could be generated. Key areas for potential out of hours use include the sports hall and the dining and assembly halls, which are located to allow easy and controllable access of these and their supporting spaces. 

As a Free School, Deer Park School would be operated by the Wildern Academy Trust and not the County Council, the use of the school and grounds out of hours will be subject to the formal agreement of the Trust.


The school Framework Travel Plan outlines how the use of more sustainable modes of travel will be encouraged to reduce car journeys to and from the school. The Travel Plan and wider site masterplan incorporate a number of proposals to encourage walking and cycling for pupils and residents.


The new secondary school will be the first element of the development to be constructed on the Woodhouse Lane site and will provide the additional secondary school places needed within the locality.

To facilitate the early delivery of the school the County Council will be acting as ‘master developer’ and will forward fund and co-ordinate the following works:

  • Site access from Woodhouse Lane (this will be delivered in conjunction with phase1A &B of the Botley Bypass works);
  • The Internal access loop, footpaths and cycleways;
  • Site services including gas, electricity and foul and highway drainage; and
  • Offsite road and footpath improvements.

Further details on the scale and timing of these works can be found in the Delivery Strategy Document and further information on the principles for the detailed design is set out within the Design and Access Statement.

Key changes following submission (December 2018)

School open spaces, foul drainage and boundary changes
The following changes are proposed to address the relationship between the proposed school and the Site of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINC) along Bushy Copse and Bottom Copse:

  • The proposed fence surrounding Bushy Copse is to be moved away from the protected woodland and will be lower in scale.  A new fence, that will not impede the passage of wildlife, is proposed through the Copse to help secure the school boundary and safeguard pupils.
  • A new 20m buffer is proposed between the school playing fields and Bottom Copse, at the southern boundary of the site. A new public footpath is proposed to allow pedestrian access from Woodhouse Lane along the proposed maintenance track to the public open space to the west of the school playing fields and improve the pedestrian network within the site.
  • The western boundary of the school playing fields has been adjusted by approximately 14m, to account for the additonal SINC buffer to Bottom Copse.  This boundary will be reinforced with new hedgerow planting between the public open space and the school playing fields.