A new secondary school looks set to be built in Colchester as Essex County Council’s investment in new school places in the area continues.
Following a public consultation in July, Essex County Council has now selected plans for a new 900-pupil secondary school as the preferred option for the former Alderman Blaxill School site.
The new school, which could yet be a free school, would help meet the anticipated increase in demand for secondary school places from 2019.
Discussions are continuing about whether the proposals should include a 30-place pupil referral unit for primary school aged pupils and key working housing for teachers.
Other options that had been considered, in addition to the proposed secondary school, were a sixth form and primary school but both were discounted due to lack of demand and existing/planned provision.
Cllr Ray Gooding, Essex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Education and Lifelong Learning, said: “Colchester is the fastest growing town in Essex and the demand for school places in the area continues to rise.
“We have spent about £25million creating 1,700 new school places in Colchester since 2013/14 and are committed to ensuring that investment continues.
“From 2017 we expect to see the growing number of children in primary schools feed through into the town’s secondary schools, creating the need for hundreds more places in the coming years.
“The expansions at The Stanway School and Philip Morant School, together with proposals for a free school in north Colchester and these plans for the former Alderman Blaxill site, will create at least 16 new classes per year group and ensure there are enough places to meet demand.”
The plans for the former Alderman Blaxill site are the latest in a long line of Essex County Council projects in Colchester.
The new 420-place Camulos Academy opened on the former Severalls Hospital site in September, while the 420-place Braiswick Primary School took its first cohort of pupils a year earlier.
Other recent schemes include expansions at Monkwick Infant and Junior Schools (210 places), St John’s Green Primary School (210 places), Montgomery Infant and Junior Schools (210 places) and The Gilberd School (210 places).
Projects currently in progress include plans to create 300 extra spaces at both The Stanway School and Philip Morant School.
Work is also set to begin next September on the expansion of Stanway Primary School (280 pupils to 420) and Stanway Fiveways Primary School (315 to 630 pupils).
Expansions at three other Colchester primary schools are also in the pipeline, but no further information can be disclosed at this time.
In addition, the Government approved proposals for two new free schools in Colchester in September - Trinity College (all-through school for 1,170 pupils in north Colchester) and a primary academy (primary school for 480 pupils, including nursery provision).