Controversial plans for new school in Grays takes major step forward

Elm Road

LAND has been identified for another new secondary school in Grays as part of an investment of about £58million in creating new school places in the borough.

Last month, Thurrock Council’s Conservative Cabinet agreed for sites to be released for Orsett Heath Academy and Treetops Special School, creating a combined 1,340 new places.

At a meeting on Wednesday night, it approved the release of Elm Road Open Space in Grays for a new 900-place secondary school, subject to public consultation.

The proposed new school would be called Thames Park Secondary School and run by the Osborne Co-operative Academy Trust (St Cleres’s and Thameside Primary).

The project is the latest part of a free school programme that will see the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) work closely with Thurrock Council and invest about £58 million into creating new school places in the borough.

Cllr James Halden, Thurrock Council’s portfolio holder for Education and Health, said: “We are pleased 94 per cent of Thurrock schools are currently rated as good or outstanding by Ofsted, but the borough is growing fast and current forecasts show a significant increase in demand for school places from September 2019.

“This proposed new school represents a big opportunity to help ensure there are enough places to meet rising demand.

“Combined with the proposals for Orsett Heath Academy, 2,100 new secondary school places would be created in Grays, increasing the total number available in the town by 55 per cent.

“We appreciate the Elm Road Open Space is valued by the local community and its release will be subject to public consultation. If approved, we would also seek to work with the ESFA to locally re-provide the playground and open space.”

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