THURROCK MP Jackie Doyle-Price has made an impassioned plea for Thurrock residents to back the proposals for a free school in Chafford Hundred.
Ms Doyle-Price said: “The number and quality of school places in Thurrock has been a major concern of mine since I was elected. It has been clear to me that we simply do not have enough secondary school places in the west off the borough.
“The council chose to deal with this by sending pupils into schools in Stanford-le Hope. Well that isn’t good enough for me. I am giving my support to a Free school bid sponsored by Harris Academies to establish a new secondary school in Chafford Hundred. I invite you to add your support to this campaign.
“Choosing the right school for your child is a big responsibility for parents but the fact is that in Thurrock there is limited choice. This leads to heavy pressure on the best secondary school places. For example, Harris Academy Chafford Hundred received 282 first choice applications for the 180 places it had available last year.
I send my son to the school which was my sixth preference, despite Chafford being closest to my home. From 2015, the numbers of children leaving primary school will rise year-on year. Unless we invest in more school places where people need them we will be failing pupils and parents alike.
“For these reasons I am fully behind the Harris Federation as they put together proposals for a new secondary school in Chafford Hundred.
Harris were asked to make a bid for another secondary school by parents who have been struggling to get their children into the local primary schools and foresee that it will be even harder to get into good local secondary schools when larger numbers work through.
If the proposals get the go-ahead and funding from the government’s Department for Education, the school would open in 2015 and create 180 Year 7 places annually for children in Chafford Hundred, Purfleet, Grays and West Thurrock.