Schoolchildren still without playing field after TWO YEARS

Artist's impression of the new White House Farm Primary School in Sprowston, run by the Sapientia Ed

White House Farm Primary School in Sprowston - Credit: NPS Property Consultants

Frustrated children at a new school are still without a field to play on two years after workers left the site.

The brand new White House Farm Primary School opened in September 2019 in the Manor Park estate. 

There are approximately 80 pupils in the Mallard Way school, but two years on, they still have not been able to use the field. 

The Evening News was contacted by a parent, who did not wish to be identified, who said the contractor left the grass in a poor condition with stones all over the place, rendering it unusable for kids. 

Norfolk County Council is responsible for the playing field and its contractor Kier is carrying out the work.

Jonathan Taylor, chief executive officer of the Sapientia Education Trust, who run the school, said: "We agree with the parents that the playing field is not yet ready to use and share their frustrations.

"The new school is a fabulous building with great facilities and has made a great start." 

Jonathan Taylor, CEO of the Sapienta Education Trust which runs Sprowston Community Academy secondary school and sixth form.

Jonathan Taylor, chief executive officer of the Sapientia Education Trust - Credit: Sapientia Education Trust

Mr Taylor discussed the issue with the county council last week and he said there was a specialist consultancy visit at the school at the beginning of October. 

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"In the meantime there is sufficient outdoor space for meaningful play and sporting activities," the CEO reassured parents.

"The Trust continues to invest in the outdoor areas and we have been assured by Norfolk County Council that the playing field situation will be remedied." 

The county council is aiming to allow some usage of the field by spring as the school continues to grow in pupil numbers.

Isabel Horner, Norfolk County Council's sufficiency delivery manager, who has been overseeing the scheme, said all parties involved are working towards a solution to allow the use of the field as soon as possible. 

She added: "The majority of school playing fields are used less at this time of year generally as the weather is wetter.”

Headteacher Matt Copping did not wish to comment.

The school opened its doors in September 2019 with a reception class of 25 pupils after a construction project which took less than 12 months.