Published: Monday, 7th June 2021

St. John Fisher Catholic Comprehensive School is delighted that planning permission has been granted for a new single-site school on City Way, Rochester.

The development will strengthen the school’s position in the community and provide an environment for pupils to explore their true potential.

Situated at the top of the hill between Chatham and Rochester, with inspiring views looking out across the River Medway, the new build will offer a wide range of outstanding facilities in addition to standard teaching rooms, including multi use games area (MUGA) pitches, a football pitch, a dance studio, gym and kiln room. In addition to these facilities, the school will also be brought together as a single community for the first time in the school’s history. A video of the proposed design is available to view on their website. 

Now that planning has been granted, Wates, the company responsible for the build, will start work immediately, and the school hopes they will move into the building in the Spring of 2023. This means that any student currently in Year 11 or below will be able to attend at the new City Way Site for some of their time at St John Fisher.

Determined to become a world-class school

Headteacher Dympna Lennon said: “I am proud to say that in the last few years St John Fisher has been transformed. We have seen a significant uplift in our results and our Ofsted rating. We are determined to become a world-class school and our new school building is a significant step in getting there. This is an exciting new chapter for St. John Fisher Catholic Comprehensive School. Moving to our new site will provide the outstanding facilities that our students, staff and community deserve.”

Wonderful opportunity

Cllr Martin Potter, Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder for Education and Schools, said: “The new school building will provide a wonderful opportunity to improve the learning environment for pupils, enable the school to come together as one and strengthen community links. The project also supports our ambition to become a Child-Friendly City, putting young people at the heart of everything we do. I look forward to watching the works progress.”

Providing first class modern facilities for students and staff

Chair of Governors, Clive Mailing said: “Whilst this has been a very long while in the making, we now have the fantastic opportunity to provide first class modern facilities for all our students and staff. This will not only be able to be enjoyed by the majority of our existing students but for future generations of Medway pupils and our local community.”

We are delighted

Director of Education for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Southwark, Dr. Simon Hughes, said: “We are delighted that all the effort on the part of the school’s leaders and the Department for Education has resulted in the local planning authority in Medway granting permission for our prestigious new building. We are very grateful to officers within the Department for Education who listened carefully to the challenges Dympna and her team face daily with the dilapidating estate and who have worked tirelessly with us to find a creative solution to funding the building programme. I am really looking forward to accompanying the Most Reverend John Wilson, Archbishop of Southwark to the formal opening in 2023.”

Learning environments have a direct impact upon the development of young people

Wates Representative Paul Abrahams, Operations Director – Wates Construction, said: “We’re pleased to be awarded the important task of building the new St. John Fisher Catholic Comprehensive School an appointment that reflects our credibility and experience in the education sector. At Wates, we understand how learning environments have a direct impact upon the development of young people and attainment levels and we bring our appreciation to every stage of the process. Everything we do is guided by our purpose of working together to inspire better ways of creating the places, communities and businesses of tomorrow.”

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