Essex County council to build up to 22 new schools to help create 22,000 new places by 2027
Essex County Council have revealed that up to 22 new schools will be built in the county over the next decade with 22,000 new school places being needed by 2027.
The numbers form part of the council’s 10 year plan to meet the demand for school places in the county.
Council projections show that 12,201 of these new places will be needed at primary level with the other 9,915 at secondary schools.
In order to create these spaces Colcester, Braintree and Tendring will all gain new primary schools in the next decade with Colchester also seeing new secondary and all-through schools.
As well as opening new schools the council hopes to expand existing schools and support free school applications in order to meet demand.
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Jerry Glazier, the general secretary for the NEU, NUT Section in Essex, said: “It’s increasingly important for the local authority that they keep up with demand for new school places.”
He added that the problem would now be what type of schools would be created by the council as he said that sometimes academies “can’t fulfill their promises.”
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He also raised the issue of staffing in the schools saying that the priority should now be to retain good teachers.
Cllr Ray Gooding, Essex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Education, said: “We have an excellent track record of investing in new school places and spent about £74million creating more than 2,500 places ahead of September 2017.
“As a result, we were able to offer a record percentage of primary and secondary school pupils their parents’ preferred places for the latest academic year, which is an outstanding achievement in the current climate.
“Despite our successes, we recognise that the county is continuing to grow and a further 22,000 new school places will be needed over the next decade.
“We remain committed to ensuring Essex has the infrastructure it needs to grow and have outlined plans to spend a further £87million on mainstream school projects as part of our ambitious £300million budget proposals.”
Last year’s budget saw 13,000 new school places being announced for the county over the course of three years. 2535 of these have already been created.