Clacton school shake-up could see big expansion and new sixth-form

Clacton County High School is to get a major expansion. Picture: SIGMA TRUST/CCHS

Clacton County High School is to get a major expansion. Picture: SIGMA TRUST/CCHS - Credit: Archant

An Essex high school is set to get a major expansion as part of a shake-up of secondary education in the Clacton area.

Clacton County High School is to transfer its sixth form to the Tendring Education Centre site on the west of the town allowing a new 10-classroom block to be built along with a new sports hall in Walton Road.

Essex County Council is working with Tendring council to ensure the project will improve access at the rear of the school and would provide a new all-weather pitch at Clacton Leisure Centre along with other improvements to this facility.

Neil Gallagher, Executive Headteacher at CCHS, said: "This is a truly exciting development for the school and the town.

"For several years the demand for places at CCHS has outstripped our capacity. These developments would ensure that children can access a local secondary school place and the sixth form centre would provide a local centre of excellence for our community."

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The expansion project would require increasing the playing field space within the school at the Walton Road site, and the county has asked Tendring to transfer some of the existing recreation ground to allow for that.

Tending deputy leader Carlo Guglielmi has agreed to start formal consideration of that, including a consultation process on transferring some of Vista Road recreation field to the school.

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To ensure Clacton residents do not lose public open space, it is proposed that some land at the TEC site will be transferred to Tendring and access created for the public. Land between Rush Green Recreation Ground and Jaywick Lane would be improved and made available for public use.

Mr Guglielmi said: "The education of our young people in Tendring is so important, and supporting improved qualification and skills attainment is one of our corporate priorities. Providing first-rate leisure facilities is also a priority, and the use of open space land in the potential scheme is an important consideration - including protecting its use for education in the future."

The public consultation on the Vista Road land transfer is scheduled to start at the end of July, and residents are encouraged to give their opinions.

Separately, the school plans to consult with the community about detailed expansion plans in September. The intention is for the sixth form to move in September 2020, and the additional buildings at the Walton Road site completed for September 2021.

Market Field Special School is also currently operating on the TEC site and this will continue alongside the CCHS sixth form centre.

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