Tilbury Douglas to lead the construction of the DfE’s Branston Locks Primary & Nursery School

Tilbury Douglas has been appointed to lead the construction of Branston Locks Primary & Nursery School, located in Tatenhill, Staffordshire, on behalf of the Department for Education (DfE) for John Taylor MAT.

The new build, two-form entry primary school with nursery, situated in the proposed ‘local centre’ of a new residential / mixed use development, is designed to eventually accommodate 420 primary school pupils aged 4 to 11 years and an additional 52 nursery places.

The school will open with one form of entry in September 2024, admitting one Reception class with 30 places and a Nursery with 26 places for children over 3 years of age.


To meet DfE’s sustainability objectives, the development is set to achieve Net Zero Carbon in Operation at handover. This will be achieved by utilising highly energy efficient fabric and services, offset by onsite renewables.

In addition, the landscaping will feature new trees and meadow planting around the site boundary, providing valuable habitat and increasing biodiversity, as well as creating pocket spaces for outdoor learning. The proposed external sports provision includes new pitches and running tracks.

Simon Butler, Managing Director – Building Central at Tilbury Douglas, commented: “In addition to core education use, this new school will look to become a vibrant community hub. The design will promote this ambition with internal facilities including an activity studio, large main hall and associated kitchenette and storage, offering meaningful opportunities for community use.”

John Taylor MAT is a highly successful Trust with 19 academies operating across Staffordshire and Derbyshire and it wishes to build on the success of its existing primary schools and use its expertise and educational leadership in the area to replicate many areas of the curriculum for this new school.

Mike Donoghue, CEO of John Taylor MAT, commented: “Branston Locks Primary and Nursery School is the second primary free school and a key strategic priority for the Trust, and we are delighted to see this project coming to fruition. We are very grateful for the help and support from Staffordshire County Council, the Department for Education and Tilbury Douglas and we look forward to receiving a wonderful new school that will enhance and support the local community for generations to come.”

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