A SECONDARY school in Grays which opened its doors in 2020 has been given the go-ahead to build two temporary classrooms to accommodate an extra 120 students.
The Orsett Heath Academy has been granted planning permission for a two-storey building to be constructed and used for two years.
The prefabricated building, on green belt land in Long Lane, Stifford Clays – adjacent to Thurrock Rugby Football Club, – will accommodate the extra classes for the academy while a new school building is constructed. The academy is run by the South West Essex Community Education Trust, which also runs the William Edwards School.
In its application, the school said: “The new classrooms and ancillary accommodation will provide capacity for an additional 120 urgently-needed secondary school places for september, 2022. It includes office and toilet space and a covered area for children queueing for class
“The new building will provide sufficient classroom capacity to accommodate an extra full school year of pupils.
“The seven additional classrooms are essential to allow the school to operate effectively and offer the full curriculum. It is sometimes necessary to teach in smaller groups for subjects such as food technology, meaning more rooms are required for timetables to function properly.”
The new classes will have four new full-time teaching staff.
The school said it had looked at other options, including accommodation at William Edwards and alternative locations at the site but their were no suitable alternative options.
Had the application not been approved 120 children would have had to be accommodated at other schools in the borough.
The school added: “There are not sufficient other schools in the borough to accommodate these pupils elsewhere.
“Without this the local authority would not be able to meet its statutory obligation for school places.”
Orsett Heath Academy opened to a full cohort of Year 7 pupils in September 2020 in interim accommodation at the club. In November, the school was granted permission for a purpose-built school building expected to accommodate 1,200 students.
The developers Caledonian Modular are building the school for the trust and the Department for Education. The new school is being built near to the school’s interim building, adjacent to King George’s Field, off Stanford Road, in Grays.