Plans for new 1,200-place secondary school given green light as Essex’s first all-through school moves a step closer
24 January 2017
Councillors have backed plans to create a new 1,200-place secondary school as part of the development of the county’s first ever all-through school.
Essex County Council’s current projections show an anticipated increase in demand for secondary school places in Chelmsford from September 2017.
There is expected to be particularly high demand in the Springfield area as a result of the growing Beaulieu development, where about 3,700 more houses are planned.
The new school at Beaulieu in Chelmsford would provide an initial 900 secondary school places from September 2019, growing to 1,200 in future years.
Together with an adjoining 420-place primary school and 56-place Early Years building, which have already been approved and are set to open for September 2018, it would operate as the county’s first all-through school.
The plans have taken a significant step forward today after they were backed by Essex County Council’s Cabinet.
Subject to planning processes, work on the new secondary school building should now start as soon as July and be completed in January 2019.
Cllr Ray Gooding, Essex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Education and Lifelong Learning, said: “Chelmsford is growing fast and our projections show the demand for secondary school places is likely to increase significantly in the coming years.
“We have a very strong track record of investment in new school places in Essex, which has meant the vast majority of pupils continue to be offered a place at one of their parents’ preferred schools.
“We will continue to spend the money required to provide the county with the infrastructure it needs to grow and are set to spend a further £230million over the next three years under our latest budget proposals.
“These plans for Beaulieu are particularly exciting as we will be creating the county’s first ever all-through school, and I look forward to watching the project develop in the coming months.”
More detailed plans will now be drawn up by Kier, which has been awarded a contract to build the school.
Essex County Council will also invite proposals from operators interested in running the free school.