School revealed as new owner of ex-museum

Battle Abbey School headmaster David Clark outside the former Yesterday's World building SUS-151012-123622001
Battle Abbey School headmaster David Clark outside the former Yesterday's World building SUS-151012-123622001

Battle Abbey School has announced that it is the new owner of the former Yesterday’s World Museum.

The popular tourist attraction, in Battle High Street, closed to the public last month after 30 years.

The school says the plans to convert the building to provide extra classrooms, a conference facility, fitness studio, and café area for use by sixth-form pupils.

Headmaster David Clark said: ‘We are delighted to secure these premises which are a stone’s throw from the main school buildings in the Abbey.

“We are absolutely committed to providing the very best facilities to our pupils and the relocation of our sixth form to Yesterday’s World will not only allow us to dramatically upgrade the facilities at our disposal to the sixth form, but will provide us the space at the Abbey to improve facilities for pupils throughout the school.

“Space is at an absolute premium at the Abbey and, with Battle Abbey School attracting record numbers this academic year, it is important for the ongoing development of the school to expand in to external space.

“The school has a fantastic history of sending sixth-form students on to top universities.

“Our 98 per cent A-Level pass rate means we are on average sending 38 per cent of our leaving sixth-form pupils on to Russell Group Universities or Oxford and Cambridge. As such, demand for places in our sixth form from local secondary schools is at a record high.

“The Yesterday’s World complex, which occupies a surprising amount of space in central Battle, will allow us to cater for this increased demand for sixth-form places from schools like St Richards, Robertsbridge and Claverham.”

Battle Abbey School has been looking for external sites for some time and the Yesterday’s World purchase is part of a general programme of expansion.

The school recently bought a large detached house on Battle Road, now the school’s Marylands boarding facility.

Mr Clark continued: “The Yesterday’s World development also has the benefit of being a self-contained facility with shop front which we plan to use to showcase the school’s nationally-recognised art to the residents of Battle.

“Out of term we are hoping to keep the facility open for use by the community.

“We know that our family and small-school ethos is very important to our current and future parent base, so any development we were considering had to be sympathetic to our core values, which we would never jeopardise.

“That said, the school is in fantastic shape and we are always looking at opportunities to develop our educational provision to pupils.”

Battle Abbey School opened with record numbers on its Prep, Nursery and Abbey sites this September.

The school has opened two Year-7 classes this academic year due to increased demand.

The new Battle Abbey School Sixth Form Centre is expected to receive its first pupils at Easter next year