Rugeley John Taylor FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions
Rugeley John Taylor

Rugeley John Taylor – Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some of the questions we have been asked about the new all-through free school Rugeley John Taylor.  In line with the requirements of a Section 10 consultation, we will add to this list of FAQs over time, as will look to answer questions asked of us as accurately and clearly as we can. You may also find useful information about John Taylor MAT and its schools on our website www.jtmat.co.uk (under the “Free School Applications” tab) and on Twitter @JohnTaylorMAT.

on Twitter @JohnTaylorMAT and about Rugeley John Taylor  on Twitter @JTRugeley and our dedicated Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/JTRugeley or search for JTRugeley.

When is the school going to be open?

September 2023

Where will it be located?

The school has been apportioned over seven hectares of land on the former power station site.

Is a September 2023 opening of a large new school on this site realistic?

JTMAT has been working with its partners for a number of months to ensure that, should we receive a favourable announcement on our bid, we will be ready to begin work on the design, planning permissions, consultations and construction phases to be ready for opening in September 2023.  Our application would not have been approved had our timescales not been seen as achievable.

Why is the school needed?

There will be over 2000 new homes built on the former power station site, and typically 1000 homes requires a “form of entry” of provision.  The need for a two-form entry 420-place primary school was therefore part of the planning permission for the site regeneration.  These children will ultimately require secondary school places also. 

In addition, The Hart School recently moved all its teaching for 11-18 year olds onto a single site. As well as making improvements to their facilities it also meant there was a reduction in the number of secondary and post-16 places provided by the school..  It has been projected that, without new school places for secondary age children, an increasing number of the town’s children would have to travel further afield to go to school.  A considerable number of secondary age children do so already.  However, the areas to which they currently travel (typically, Lichfield, Hednesford, Cannock and Stafford) are also subject to population growth and will therefore see school places limited.  The town of Rugeley and the areas surrounding it needs to be self-sufficient in the education of its young people. 

Finally, currently approximately four fifths of the town’s young people are educated post-16 outside of the town.  By opening sixth form provision at Rugeley John Taylor, this again provides more options in Rugeley itself for its young people.

How many children, and in which year groups, will the school be admitting in its first year?

It has been agreed with the local authority that in order to meet local need the school will admit one nursery class (3-4 year-olds) of 26 children, one Reception class (4-5 year-olds) of 30 children, and five Year 7 classes (11 year-olds) of 30 children each i.e. 150 children.

N.B: It is planned that as the population in Rugeley grows, the primary phase will expand to two nursery classes (52 children in total) and two forms of entry (60 children per year group).

Why aren’t you admitting children into the other year groups?

The Department for Education specify in applications for new schools that these schools should fill “from the bottom, up”.  This means that children are not having to switch schools mid-phase, causing disruption for their education and for other local schools.

How can I make enquiries about admissions to Rugeley John Taylor?

Please email us at admissions@rug.jtmat.co.uk and we will include you on our mailing list.  A little closer to the time of opening, we will send you admission information about the school and how to secure a place.

What will the proposed admission arrangements include?

The admission arrangements will give highest priority to children with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) and to children in care/previously in care. Any parent can apply for a place but if there are more applications than places available then it is proposed that a higher priority would be given to pupils with older siblings at the school or who live closest to the new school, as measured by a straight line. For, nursery and reception admissions, we would prioritise applications from the new Power Station development.

The school is going to specialise in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects. What about the rest of the curriculum?

As with all John Taylor schools, children will be taught a broad and balanced curriculum that includes high quality, specialist provision in the arts (for example music and drama), humanities (history, geography, religious studies), modern foreign languages, physical education and, of course, English alongside the STEM suite of subjects.  Children and young people at Rugeley John Taylor will, however, have access to the latest equipment, specialist visitors and experiences that will enhance their learning in areas known to enhance their employability. 

How can I express an interest in working at the new school, and what positions might be available?

Rugeley John Taylor will require a wide range of postholders from September 2023.  Naturally, this will include primary- and secondary-trained teachers, teaching assistants, school leaders, office and site staff.  Recruitment will take place nearer to opening.  However, to express an interest and be placed on our mailing list, please email us at recruitment@rug.jtmat.co.uk.  Please do not send us your curriculum vitae (CV), as it is our practice to only assess our standard application forms.

What is the position of school transport to the new school?

As with any school, where it is the closest school to the pupil’s home address and over 2 miles away (for primary aged children) or over 3 miles (for secondary aged children), then there would be a statutory entitlement to free home-to-school travel.

John Taylor MAT Successful in Further Free School Application

A new “All Through” free school planned for Rugeley will open in September 2023 as part of the John Taylor Multi-Academy Trust (JTMAT), the Department for Education has announced. This is the only “All-Through” school to be announced in the new wave of successful applications.

The school will be built on the former Power Station site, and will eventually accommodate 1400 pupils plus a nursery.

It is being built in response to increased demand for school places in the area.

JTMAT were announced as the successful sponsor after an application process, appraised by a panel that included representatives from the Department for Education, and the Education and Skills Funding Agency.

The John Taylor Multi Academy Trust already runs a number of successful primary and secondary schools in Staffordshire and South Derbyshire, including the £30 million John Taylor Free School in Burton, opened in September 2018.

CEO of the Trust, Mike Donoghue expressed his delight upon receiving the confirmation of the Trust’s success:

We are naturally excited and extremely proud to have been given the responsibility to lead the new school at Rugeley. With a growing Trust that currently comprises many local good and outstanding primary and secondary schools, and a track record of successfully delivering a large Free School, we felt that we were well-placed to offer an exciting, high quality, and innovative offer to the children and families in the area. Focused on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) from nursery through to Sixth Form, we will do all that we can to make this school outstanding and stand out. I’m delighted that, after a rigorous application and interview process, the selection panel agreed.

Now the work begins in earnest to fulfil our vision to create the best school we possibly can. The application was very much a team effort, and so will be our work to deliver the school to the community. We look forward to working alongside our partner organisations to make all this happen. We couldn’t be more thrilled.

Chair of John Taylor MAT, Gareth Moss added:

John Taylor Multi Academy Trust is delighted to have been awarded this very exciting opportunity. We have a track record of delivering high quality education across our schools and are proud of the achievements and progress we have made. We are tremendously excited to bring that experience and ambition to this exciting opportunity. The creation of a community on the old Power Station site is a unique time and one off chance to do something special and we will play our part to the full on this

County Councillor Philip White, Cabinet Member for Economy and Skills at Staffordshire County Council said:

This school will be the first all-through school to be built in Staffordshire offering a much more seamless progress through their children’s school careers. I am very pleased that John Taylor Multi Academy Trust are ready to take on this challenge, and create a school that really sits at the heart of the local community.

JTMAT have a proven track record in delivering high-quality education, and an understanding of the challenges that can be faced in developing a brand new school. The new school will support the future need for school places for a growing community and will increase choice and diversity for families. We look forward to working with them on this project.

The new All Through school is due to open to nursery, reception and Year 7 pupils in September 2023.

The Trust welcomes enquires about the All Through Free School. Please e-mail admissions@rug.jtmat.co.uk to express interest in admissions or employment opportunities.

For further information contact office@jtmat.co.uk

Mike Donoghue, CEO John Taylor MAT