Orsett Heath Academy, part of the South West Essex Community Education Trust (SWECET), is officially open and has welcomed its first ever group of students.
The new academy is an exciting development for the children and families in Thurrock providing an additional 1,200 pupil places by 2024. It will provide much needed capacity to meet the growing demand for secondary school places in Thurrock.
The academy will be run by SWECET, who are currently responsible for William Edwards, Stifford Clays, Deneholm and Chadwell St Mary in Thurrock and Marshalls Park Academy in Havering.
Steve Munday, Chief Executive of SWECET, said: “We are so excited to welcome our first students to Orsett Heath Academy today. It has been an extraordinary team effort to get the school ready for the first day. Our main contractor, Maldon Building Services, our architects, Ken Judge and Associates, and all the subcontractors have done an incredible job and achieved what many said would not be possible. A special thank you to Thurrock Rugby Club for working with us to form a unique partnership that will create so many opportunities for our young people and the community, alongside further exciting developments.”
Sian Rawson, Head of School at Orsett Heath Academy, added: “This is an important and special first year for Orsett Heath Academy, where pupils, staff and parents will establish an exciting and ambitious ethos of high expectations and achievement together. Our first year group will play a pivotal and historic role in establishing Orsett Heath as an excellent school for the community it serves and it was so exciting to welcome them today.”
The new academy has a specialism in sports, the arts and a strong international approach to languages.
Simon Bell is the Executive Headteacher at Orsett Heath and William Edwards. He said “We’d like to say a big thank you to our community for their support throughout this journey. From the parents attending our open events to the children who shaped our branding, we could not have done it without you. As we move forward and grow, we look forward to establishing the academy as one in which the community can be proud with the very highest educational standards.”
Students are currently learning in a brand-new interim building at Thurrock Rugby Football Club. The academy will move to the main site and larger, purpose-built state of the art building in 2022. The current site will remain in joint use for educational and sports provision, creating a lasting legacy, enhancing education, sport and recreation as a ‘Thurrock Institute of Sport’.