Colchester is experiencing unprecedented growth, with its population of approximately 9,580 secondary school-aged children set to rise to between 11,825 and 12,363 by 2020/21 (source: Commissioning School Places in Essex 2016-21) as a result of rising births, inward migration and new housing.
ESOS has been working with its education partners in south Colchester to address the need for additional secondary places within that locality, and this has resulted in up to four forms of entry being delivered through permanent expansions to existing secondary schools. But it is not enough.
Following an ESOS-led presumption process to identify a potential sponsor for a new secondary Free School on Paxman Avenue in Shrub End, the Secretary of State for Education appointed The Sigma Trust (formerly The Stanway Federation). The Trust, together with officers from ECC and the Department for Education, are now working collaboratively to open a 6fe secondary school (900 places) for September 2019.
The new school will predominantly serve the Shrub End community, and represents a substantial capital investment in the area by Essex County Council.