A Staffordshire school has entered an exciting new chapter that sets it apart from other education providers across the West Midlands when it comes to getting serious about tackling climate change.
It follows the grand opening of a new net zero building, housing a suite of classrooms, at The Hart School in Rugeley, as part of a major multi-million pound investment by Creative Education Trust.
Already ranked in the top five of first-choice secondary schools for Year 6 parents in Staffordshire, the Hart School, which sits on the edge of Cannock Chase, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, has now joined an elite collection of schools providing their students with buildings operating at net zero.
One of only a handful of its kind in the UK, new building will see energy bills plummet
One of only a handful of carbon zero structures created to date at UK schools by Net Zero Buildings, the milestone opening was celebrated by Cannock Chase MP, the Rt Hon Amanda Milling, alongside local councillors, representatives from NetZero Buildings and Creative Education Trust, governors, teachers and students.
A spokesman for NetZero Buildings said: “The Hart School is leading Rugeley into a new era by committing to its net zero in operation expansion.”
With increasing energy bills coupled with the growing impact of climate change, the building, which is home to a suite of five new classrooms, will see the school’s energy bill fall by up to £11,500 this winter alone. And it will continue to fall at £30 per m2 every year.
Part of major investment at the oversubscribed school over the last few years, the new carbon zero teaching block, which boasts three new science labs amongst its new classrooms, replaced a former 1960s single storey building and is seamlessly connected to the existing school building.
“Incredibly important development,” – Hart School Principal Ms Rachael Sandham
Parents who attended open evenings at the Penkridge Bank Road School were treated to a sneak previous of the new building, which was also celebrated with a ceremonial tree planting.
Principal Ms Rachael Sandham said: “This in an incredibly important development at our school as we continue to grow and further progress on our journey towards being outstanding while also being mindful that we need to do our bit to tackle climate change and to encourage our young students to continuing tackling it going forward as our next generation.”
Cannock Chase MP Amanda Milling said: “I was delighted to visit the Hart School in Rugeley and tour their new net-zero building.
“The modern and environmentally friendly building contains 5 new classrooms, providing fantastic new facilities whilst also protecting the environment.
“I was thoroughly impressed throughout my visit and it’s clear that the leadership team are focused on supporting their pupils and ensuring they have the education they need in order to achieve their potential.”
It’s not the only exciting development at the school in recent years, as it’s also home to a cutting edge all-weather leisure dome that’s the only one of its kind to be installed to date at a UK school.
You can also keep updated with the exciting developments and events at the school, which is rated good by Ofsted, by following them on Facebook/Twitter @thehartschool