Mrs Ethelston’s Primary Academy in Uplyme has submitted a planning application to build a new school building. 

The application includes a letter from Richard Foord MP urging East Devon District Council to approve this plan. He says in an open letter that the school is overcrowded and a new large school hall will allow students more space to eat lunch and host after-school activities. An open letter from Neil Parish MP has also been included with the application.

The application involves adding a two-storey school building joined to Uplyme Village Hall as well as improvements to existing access off Lyme Road; car parking; all-weather play and sports area; associated play/landscaped areas and infrastructure."

Building firm Barker Associates have been appointed by Ethelston & Bestic School Foundation for a new school building for Mrs Ethelston’s Primary Academy.

The justification for building the school says: "The existing school cannot be improved ‘in-situ’. The existing site is too small and many of the classrooms are subject to temporary planning permissions and there are stability issues that could be very expensive to resolve.

"The existing school is creaking at the seams and falls well short of providing decent facilities for the children. The Existing school: does not have a hall for assembly, lunchtimes and wet play, there are six classrooms for seven-year groups and classrooms are poor quality and too small with very poor sanitary facilities.

• ICT is taught from a wide corridor linking busy parts of the school.

• Outdoor space is inadequate and requires split playtimes.

• There is no grassed area for outdoor sports or any all-weather sports facilities for netball and football.

• Staff and administrative facilities are too small and poorly configured.

• There is no reception area for visitors.

The overall school is a combination of many buildings across various levels. Therefore, wheelchair access across the school is not possible and the existing facilities.  The existing school cannot be improved ‘in-situ.' The existing site is too small.

The application will be decided by East Devon District Council officers before the application is approved or refused.