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Interserve to work on £1.6m ‘free school’ in Slough

10 Aug 11 Work has begun on one of the first academies to be delivered through the government's free schools initiative.

Langley Hall Primary Academy, near Slough, Berkshire, has been set up by husband and wife team, Chris and Sally Eaton, who have 25 years' experience in running local independent schools and nurseries.

The Grade II-listed Langley Hall, home to RAF Group Headquarters of Bomber Command during World War II, will undergo extensive restoration and alteration work this summer before the first pupils pass through its doors in September.

The £1.6m refurbishment will be carried out by Interserve, the leading international support services and construction group, which has delivered more than £400m-worth of schools projects, UK-wide, over the past two years.

Interserve will redecorate and restore many of the original features of Langley Hall, while removing some 20th century internal partitions and additions, to create flexible learning spaces.

All restoration work will be carried out in close consultation with both the academy and the local heritage department at Slough Borough Council.

The work will include the creation of nine new classrooms, a new hall, three new toilets and cloakrooms, a new reception area, offices and a staff room and new mechanical, electrical and ICT installations. Further works will be carried out during the summers of 2012 and 2013.

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John O'Neill, Area Manager for Interserve, said: "Interserve will create a modern, 21st century learning environment, while retaining the historic character of the building. We will work closely with the academy's directors to ensure we deliver a facility that more than matches their aspirations.

“Interserve has a strong track record in the education sector and we look forward to working in partnership with Langley Hall Primary Academy, our first “free school” project."

Sally Eaton, Education Director for Langley Hall Primary Academy, said: “There is a desperate shortage of primary school places in Langley and Slough and, by September 2011, this is estimated to be 342. Langley Hall Primary Academy is going some way towards meeting that need.

“The free school initiative has given me the opportunity to provide the sort of education that I believe in to all children and not just to the few who can afford to pay for it.”

Langley Hall Primary Academy will be one of the first free schools to open, and its progress from concept through the construction phase to its opening this September is being filmed for a special feature on free schools by BBC Television.

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