Dear Parents/Carers, Students, Staff, Governors and other interested parties

  1. Introduction 

Leigh Academies Trust, is seeking the views of parents/carers, staff and other stakeholders on a proposal to permanently locate a Milestone nursery provision on the Cherry Orchard Primary Academy site by building a new Nursery Facility. This document is part of a six-week consultation process which opens on 10th September 2021 and closes on 22nd October 2021. At the end of the consultation period a decision will be taken by the Headteacher Board of the Regional Schools Commissioners Office on whether to proceed with the proposed Milestone nursery satellite provision at Cherry Orchard Primary Academy. 

  1. Why are we proposing to expand the nursery? 

In the school’s local area there is a growing need for specialist nursery places for children with SEND/EHCPs. This was at the direct request of KCC in order to provide sufficient pupil places in a specialist provision. The demand outstrips the number of places across Kent.

  1. About the proposed nursery build 

Milestone Academy is an education setting serving students aged 2-19 with Special Educational Need, with approximately 380 pupils currently on roll and increasing with the growing demand for places. Based at New Ash Green, the main site of the academy serves children across all phases, extending out into our settings based at three other LAT academies.  Two additional classrooms have been opened in the main site at New Ash Green to facilitate the increased numbers of pupils being allocated by the local authority. The main site is now at capacity, with no room to safely accommodate any further increase in numbers.

  1. Where will the nursery additional children be accommodated? 

The proposed build consists of a modular structure to be positioned next to the Early Years Foundation Stage outdoor learning area. There will be a main classroom with an accessible outdoor area. There will be additional spaces for meetings with parents, break out spaces for pupils and staff with toilet and washing facilities.

The position of the nursery has been planned so that there is no impact on the retaining structures required to ensure stability of nearby housing and minimal impact on the space available to pupils attending Cherry Orchard Academy. By being close to the Early Years Foundation stage classrooms at Cherry Orchard both academies will share mutual benefit for pupils and staff.

The location also enables safe access for parents through the gate currently used by parents of pupils attending the early years classrooms. The numbers of pupils attending will not have a significant impact on footfall or traffic as evidenced by the pupils and staff already attending the nursery within the Cherry Orchard Academy building.

  1. How will the school deal with any possible increased traffic and congestion? 

Traffic and parking assessments will be carried out as part of the design and planning process. This would be a minimum as designated parking will be provided on the school site for drop off and pick up. This will include spaces for the local authority transport which may be provided for pupils.

  1. Funding

The costs of the build will be covered jointly by Kent County Council and Leigh Academies Trust. 

  1. The consultation process 

The 6-week public consultation process begins on Friday 10th September 2021 and ends on Friday 22nd October 2021. We welcome any comments that you would like to raise related to this proposal. Please email them to 


All responses must be received by midnight on Friday 22nd October 2021.


Yours sincerely

 Sarah Goosani | Principal