New Sixth Form Block

Heanor Gate and The Spencer Academies Trust have been closely involved in developing design proposals that meet our functional requirements but also represent an exciting opportunity for the future of our Academy. The proposals are for a new two storey building on the existing turning circle towards the centre of the site, situated to give the vibrant new post-16 entrance some presence from the entrance to the Academy. The ground floor is dedicated to post-16 students, with a social space and study room, while the first floor shared teaching facilities include two new classrooms, a seminar room, and a new ICT suite.

Both Heanor Gate and The Spencer Academies Trust anticipate that the current and future housing growth of Heanor, along with neighbouring towns and villages within their catchment area, will increase the demand for both secondary and post-16 places at the Academy. A feasibility study has been undertaken to assess the existing school accommodation against government guidelines, and investigate the potential growth of the Academy.

Proposed work includes the dedicated sixth form building with two general teaching classrooms, IT classroom, seminar space, study room and large social/common room.

New Build interior render
New Build front render

Outside, the post-16 social space is extended to create an external dining and seating area, along with a dedicated post-16 entrance into the academy from the adjacent car park. The car park has also been restructured and resurfaced to accommodate the new building and improve the efficiency of the layout.

With a strong sustainability agenda, the energy and carbon strategy for the proposed building will be developed with a drive to exceed the standards set by the current regulations. The outlined measures will deliver a building that exceeds thermal efficiency requirements, air permeability standards, achieves a greater improvement on the targeted energy use, and delivers an improvement on carbon emissions.

– Energy efficient building form

– Enhanced thermal efficiency and air tightness

– Heat pump technology for heating and hot water

– Energy efficient LED lighting

– Hybrid ventilation with heat recovery

– Photovoltaic panels provide on-site electrical energy

Proposed Works


1 – New Sixth Form Block

New dedicated sixth form building with two general teaching classrooms, IT classroom, seminar space, study room and large social/common room.

2 – Reconfiguration of Car Park

Existing parking ’roundabout’ to be removed and car park to the west reconfigured to maximise spaces.

3 – New Landscaping

New entrance ‘plaza’ to the front of the new building. New wildflower meadow planting to area between new building and Block M to increase biodiversity.

4 – Reconfiguration of Fence Lines

Existing fence to school field adapted. New fence line around paths to allow for safer pedestrian access and create more logical secure line.

New build map and plan

Feedback and Questions

We understand that such an exciting development will create a lot of interest and so in order to try and ensure we are as transparent as possible with all stakeholders, we intend on creating a FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) summary. If you would like to submit a question for us to consider and respond to, or to express whether or not your support the development plans, please register this using the Google form below:


We have endeavoured to answer your frequently asked questions below and shall continue to add to these throughout the planning process:

Q What is the time frame for the building works? While I fully support this expansion I’m concerned about the impact to my child in year 11 with building work disruption, in particular during exam times. You mention increased capacity, what will be your idea of numbers of students this will accommodate both in sixth form & in school?

A Our estimated time scale currently is between 12 and 18 months after work commences. As with any site maintenance works currently, there would be certain restrictions placed on building works during exam seasons, learning will always be our first priority. Our aim is to increase capacity by 86 places across Y7-13.

Q If the proposed plans are accepted, when would building start and the planned building be ready for students to use? I have a child in year 11 and this would be great if his year group would be able to use it.

A Our preference would be to commence work as soon as planning permission permits, unfortunately at present we are unable to predict when our application might be approved or declined by the local authority. Timescales for completion are currently estimated at between 12 and 18 months after works commence, our intention is to open this to students immediately thereafter.

Q What will happen to the old 6th Form space?

A This would be designated to new classrooms and additional teaching spaces for the wider school.

Q Please can you let me know if heat pumps are now of sufficient power to heat this size of building? I have read much negative press about heat pumps and although an excellent idea, they do not seem to be effective.

A Sufficiently sized, heat pumps are a perfect low carbon solution to meet the building’s heating demands, and it is likely this scheme will use two air source heat pumps located to the rear of the building. This technology is well established and with the change in regulations to lower energy use, heat pumps are one of very few options that help us hit those targets. As you can appreciate, the topic of low carbon solutions is quite big, and the Architect is more than happy to discuss further should you wish to come along to the consultation evening.

Q I think this is fantastic and will be great for Heanor Gate. My only comment really is that this new building will look amazing, but I feel it will make the school itself from the outside look outdated. Will there be any rebuild or plans in the future for the rest of the school?

A We have engaged with a variety of school improvement projects and made numerous bids for funding to improve our existing school buildings; sadly to date these have all been unsuccessful. It has been indicated that this lack of support may in fact be due to the success of our school, as schools who are achieving less well are typically more successful in being granted financial support. We are committed to continuing to strive to secure funding for this purpose in the future.