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John Taylor Free School

Evening shot of the school exterior

The first secondary school to be built in Staffordshire in over 20 years, John Taylor Free School is the first building opened as part of the ambitious masterplan to expand Burton-upon-Trent.

With its 1,440 pupils learning amongst scenic woodland surroundings, the new 8-form entry secondary school is set within two distinct buildings.

GNA collaborated with Entrust, facilitating extensive stakeholder engagement to develop the educational vision for the new school and community. The result was an attractive academic superblock and separate sports pavilion, incorporating a dramatic cantilevered library, and sixth form spaces, revealing the principal entrance to the main building.


  • Celebrating Construction Awards 2019
    Project of the Year (Building Projects)

What a lucky bunch of pupils they are to be able to come and learn in a school of this quality. My thought is that it is going to be a great space for learning. It is a lovely thought that the pupils are going to grow with the school.

Philip White Councillor


Located near the village of Tatenhill, the site is situated to the east of Battlestead Hill. Contained within the Tatenhill Conservation Area, a mature woodland sits on the hill and forms a unique scenic backdrop to the new school. Battlestead Hill Wood is a prominent feature of local topography and is apart of a network of woods, which form part of the National Forest Tender Scheme and makes up nearly 50 hectares of woodland.

Battlestead Hill is also full of local folklore and is reputed to be a site of an ancient battle between the Angles and Danes.

As apart of our John Taylor Free School project, extensive new tree landscaping was introduced, to help soften the boundary between the ancient hill and the new school building, extending the edge of the woodland, and providing extensive new natural habitat.

external visual of school in daylight
Dusk shot of the school exterior
John Taylor Free School