Eight local secondary schools have confirmed to the council that they are willing to expand to create 13 new forms of entry (FE) between them by 2020.
An additional 5 FE are needed from 2018, a further 6 FE in 2019 and a further 2 FE in 2020. As previously discussed at the September 2017 Cabinet, Southend Council has been working on a combined plan of secondary school expansion and the building of a new free school on land adjacent to St Laurence Park.
Cllr James Courtenay, Executive Councillor for Children and Learning, says: “I would like to thank all Southend-on-Sea secondary schools that are supporting the shortage of pupil places from 2018 onwards by confirming their agreement to expand their schools.
“I am very grateful to our secondary schools who have worked with the Council to come to this solution which offers a secure way forward for the young people of Southend-on-Sea.
“I now intend to present a paper to the January 2018 Cabinet outlining the schools commitment, proposing that we no longer require a free school to meet the 2019 and 2020 places need, and recommending that the shortfall is met through expansions, which was always our preferred option.
"Whilst no longer needing to pursue a free school at this stage, we will continue our drive to improve science, technology, engineering and manufacturing (the STEM agenda), as well as links with the airport and other local businesses, with our existing schools and colleges in Southend to ensure our pupils are best prepared for the future workplace.”
The table below identifies the commitments from Southend-on-Sea schools: