Work starts on the second-biggest

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Work has begun on what will be the second-largest secondary school in the history of Milton Keynes.

Watling Academy will be home to 1,800 students on an 11-hectare site in the Whitehouse development in west MK.

After a groundbreaking ceremony on Wednesday (September 18), the £40million project is expected to be complete in 18 months’ time.

Watling Academy will cater for students aged 11-18 in a three-storey ‘super-bloc’.

The initial intake will be Year 7 students in autumn 2020, who will be based on the top floor of nearby Fairfields Primary before transferring to the new site in early 2021.

The decision to open a new school was based on the growing demand for secondary school places on the western flank of Milton Keynes. Approximately 6,600 new homes will be built in the Whitehouse and Fairfields areas between 2016 and 2030.

Mayor of MK Cllr Sam Crooks, Cllr Zoe Nolan, and representatives from Milton Keynes Council and Denbigh Alliance Multi-Academy Trust, were at the official ground-breaking.

Cllr Zoe Nolan, cabinet member for children and families at Milton Keynes Council, said: “We’re thrilled to be breaking ground today in what is an historic occasion for the region.

“Watling Academy is a key part of the council’s plan to provide high quality education for all children as our city expands.

“We are proud to be working with Denbigh Alliance to deliver the largest secondary school in Milton Keynes.”

Watling Academy will be part of the Denbigh Alliance Multi-Academy Trust which runs Denbigh School 1.5 miles from Watling Academy.

Andy Squires, chief executive of the trust, said: “We are all delighted at the Denbigh Alliance to have reached such a milestone, in not only the building of Watling Academy, but also the

development of the trust.

“We very much see this as crucial step in our Strategic Growth Plan. Watling Academy will bring the highest quality of education and support for students.”