A START date for work on Hampshire’s newest primary school should soon become clearer.

Construction of the first of the 2,000 homes on Barton Farm, near Winchester, has begun, and the school will be open when enough children are living in the development.

At the moment the opening date for the school is September 2018. Eventually when the estate is finished the academy will have up to 420 places.

The University of Winchester is developing the new school, and a spokesman said the institute is awaiting a date for when the development will be handed over by developer Cala to Hampshire County Council.

A firm programme for work will then become clear.

The spokesman added: “We are assured by the county council that there is capacity within the neighbouring schools for the number of children who may arrive before the newschool is ready.”

The Barton Farm Academy will be the first community facility for the development, an academy sponsored by the University of Winchester Academy Trust.

The Academy It will draw on talent and leading educational research from the university and will be a feeder school to The Henry Beaufort School.

Plans for Barton Farm include a pre-school nursery, community centre and adult educationfacilities for future phases of the development.

Professor Joy Carter, Vice-Chancellor of the university, said: “As a university with close ties to our local community, we are delighted to be developing Winchester’s newest primary school just down the road from our main campus.

“Our world-class research and outstanding 175-year track record in teacher education makes us ideally placed to open an academy.” Professor Carter added.

Sue Hearle, head teacher of Henry Beaufort, said: “It is vitally important that children experience a smooth transition from primary to secondary school and we are working with the university to ensure that continuity is in place right from the start.

"It is a very exciting prospect to share our expertise to create a truly aspirational education offer for this new community.”

Barton Farm Academy is to be built as part of Hampshire County Council’s largest-ever investment in new school places and is being designed by its in-house team of architects.

Cllr Peter Edgar, Hampshire County Council’s executive member for education, said: “This new academy school represents a £9 million investment by the council.

"Pupil numbers at Hampshire’s schools continues to rise, and our investment in schools to provide the additional places is keeping pace , thanks to our strong track record in planning for the future.

“We pride ourselves on investing in quality school buildings that are built to be sustainable and provide a good environment for learning.

"Having a significant in-house team of designers means that we can provide excellent facilities using innovative thinking and the latest technological developments to make the most of the opportunity.”