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Hundreds of parents give support to second Burnt Mill school

Burnt Mill Academy / Tue 1st Dec 2015 at 08:53am

HUNDREDS of parents have already signed their support for a new free school and sixth form for Harlow.

The Burnt Mill Co-operative Academy Trust has been gathering signatures from parents of children in current Years 3, 4, 9 and 10 to test the water to see if the community supports BMAT opening the new secondary which must open by 2018 if all Harlow children are to get a school place.

Essex County Council has clearly identified there will be a large shortage of secondary school places by 2018, even if all existing secondaries in the town were full and expanded.

Parents were quick to sign their names in support of the proposal during a meeting at Freshwaters Primary Academy, in School Lane.

Karen Hayes, whose sons Tommy and Louie are in nursery and Year 3 at Freshwaters, said: “I had already read about the bulge in numbers in Year 3 and 4, so this is about ensuring my sons have a secondary school place in the future. I know Burnt Mill Academy is a good school so I am more than happy for the Trust to open another one.”

Michelle Wood, whose daughter Madison is in Year 4, said: “I know people who have struggled to get their children in to Freshwaters despite having siblings here, so I’m aware of the problem with numbers. My daughter is only eight, but she is already adamant she wants to go to Burnt Mill because of the links between the two schools.

“The thought there might not be enough secondary school places is scary. My family is all in Harlow so I like to think my daughter will be able to stay in the town with this family of schools. It would be great to have a sixth form within the Trust; it makes sense. My daughter is excelling here so if she could stay within the Trust through to 18, then that’s a good thing.”

Artur Stolarek’s twins Peter and Amelia are in Year 4 at Freshwaters. The dad said: “I think this is a great idea. There are not many secondary schools in Harlow. If another one is built, it will provide more places for more children.”
Worried Anita Kurcz, whose daughter Nikola is in Year 2, said: “The town is growing so we need more schools. It’s quite a worry there might not be enough places for our children.”

If the consultation proves there is support for BMAT’s proposal for a facility for 11 to 19-year-olds, it will submit plans next year.

A total of 240 parents have already backed the Trust’s plan.

To sign your support for or register your interest in BMAT’s new free school, visit www.burntmillacademytrust.org where you will find the appropriate form to sign under the tab Academy of Excellence.

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