In the wake of the Warwick District Council's approval of the latest plans for the new Kenilworth School the headteacher says a green team of students is committed to driving forward the agenda for sustainability.
The latest plans, which were approved Tuesday night, involve the creation of a single combined school site to merge the two existing sites in Kenilworth and to allow for the expansion of up to 2,200 pupils.
Kenilworth School Headteacher Hayden Abbott said: “Their (the green team) focus is on changing the habits and routines of staff and students by creating a plastic-free zone and introducing measures to prevent litter and reduce plastic wrapping. We are also recycling materials where they can be used in the curriculum, for example in product design, textiles, catering and art."
Three students were among those who spoke at the council meeting in support of the project and outlined the importance of sustainability at the new site.
Mr Abbott added: “It is also going to incorporate a wide range of sustainable design features and energy-efficient measures. We will be reducing energy demand using passive measures and make use of high efficiency but low carbon alternatives.
George Martin, with the Kenilworth All Together Greener Group, also spoke at the district council meeting.
Mr Martin said had hoped to persuade the council to defer their decision in an effort consider changes to help make the school more energy efficient among other reason.
Mr Martin said in some of his speech: "The application does not fit with the recent WDC climate emergency motion or indeed the UK’s Climate Change Act which require net zero carbon by 2050."
The new facilities will replace the current Kenilworth School at Leyes Lane, and Sixth Form at Rouncil Lane.
The application is for new facilities to be developed at Southcrest Farm in Glasshouse Lane to the east of Kenilworth and will include a new three storey secondary school and sixth form building, walking and cycle access, parking spaces for cars, school buses, electric vehicles, sheltered bicycle racks, internal drop-off zones and sports pitches.
The planning application was submitted to the council earlier this year in April with the aim of opening the new school in September 2021.
Mr Abbott, who also spoke at the meeting, added: “I have no doubt that the future education and life chances of young people in Kenilworth will be greatly enhanced by the new school.
Mr Abbott also explained how the new build, which includes outdoor sporting provision, will provide first-class opportunities during the school day for pupils from both Kenilworth school and local primary schools and in the evenings for the community and local businesses as part of the community lettings programme.
He added: “This is absolutely terrific news and a pivotal point in the development of our new school. We are looking forward immensely to the next stage of this exciting journey.
“We would of course like to thank all those who were so vocal and enthusiastic in their support of this visionary project. We are so proud of all our students, including those who spoke so eloquently at the meeting, who will now continue working on their vision for sustainability at the new site."
Sue Casey, chair of the Kenilworth Multi Academy Trust, said: “We are thrilled with this news as this is an important milestone in the future of Kenilworth School and Sixth Form. We look forward to the opportunities which will be provided at the new school.”
Shirley Whiting, a trustee who has been involved with the school and the new build project for a number of years, added: “With the granting of planning permission, we are now in a great position to move towards developing the new school on a single site. This will be a high functioning, outstanding educational facility for the families of Kenilworth for generations to come.”
Jeremy Wright MP said: “I am delighted to hear that the building of a new school will go forward. I am convinced it will be a huge benefit to pupils in the town and beyond and to the broader community, and I congratulate all those who have contributed to reaching this stage.”