Kent County Council is asking people to share their views on plans for a new secondary school in Thanet.
The plans for a Free School on the site of the former Royal School for the Deaf in Margate are at a very early stage but the council is keen to get the views of parish and town councils, community groups and members of the public.
KCC will commission a new six form entry (six classes per year group) secondary school and is seeking a suitable sponsor to run the school.
The new secondary school will provide 900 places for pupils aged 11 to 16 years and is planned to open in September 2020.
Initially KCC would expect the school to operate four or five Year 7 classes (120 to 150 places) and we anticipate the school will grow over several years to support the planned 900 places.
Included within the new school will be a 15-place Specialist Resourced Provision for pupils with social and emotional needs and/or autism.
Although plans have not been finalised it is anticipated the new school with benefit from an outdoor multi-use games area (MUGA) and that there will be a designated car park and drop-off area to reduce the impact on the surrounding roads.
The council has predicted more Year 7 places will be required by September 2019 so is looking at the possibility of opening the new school on a temporary site for a year before transferring pupils to the new site. A number of possible locations are being considered.
KCC will also seek ways to provide additional capacity within Thanet secondary schools should the establishment of the new school be delayed.
Roger Gough, KCC’s cabinet member for children, young people and education, said: “Thanet has been identified as an area where the birth rate is higher than both the national and county average. As a consequence of this, as well as inward migration into the district, we will need to find more school places for both primary and secondary children in the coming years.
“Our Commissioning Plan for Education Provision in Kent 2017-2021 identifies the need for new school provision across Kent, including up to eight form entry in the Thanet district in the medium term and 10 form entry in the longer term as new housing developments proceed.
“Our intention now is to secure a sponsor who can work with us to ensure a new, high quality secondary school can be opened at the Margate site to cater for the rising number of pupils in the area.
“Kent County Council is responsible for ensuring there are sufficient high quality school places for all learners in the county and we take that responsibility very seriously.”
A Free School is an academy school that receives its revenue budget directly from central government each year.
Potential sponsors need to submit an application to KCC by 15 January 2018.
The Secretary of State for Education will decide who the sponsor will be and a decision is expected by the end of April 2018.
The successful sponsor will be required to carry out a public consultation when members of the public will have the opportunity to comment on their plans.
The Royal School for the Deaf closed at the end of 2015 when the trust running the school went into administration. This is now an ideal opportunity to ensure the site remains in use for educational purposes, rather than being used for residential development.
How to let us know your views:
- Email your views to: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Send a letter to: Marisa White, Area Education Officer, East Kent Education Office, Brook House, Whitstable, Kent, CT5 3SS
The final date for sending in your views and comments is 15 January 2018
Further information can also be found here: www.kent.gov.uk/educationprovision
Information on the website will be updated over the coming months.