£4.5million capital funding has enabled two schools to open new buildings that will increase school places in Thurrock by 420 and improve facilities in schools.
An additional form of entry, plus new facilities at Thameside Academy in Grays – part of the St Clere’s Trust – was opened on 28 April. The occasion was marked by ribbon-cutting and balloons being released by students.
On Friday 21 April the fully refurbished former Knightsmead School, previously earmarked for demolition, opened at Somers Heath School in South Ockendon, featuring a chorus of students. This project provided a corridor that linked both buildings to create a two form entry school as well as classrooms and other facilities.
Portfolio Holder for Education and Health, Cllr James Halden, explained how Thurrock Council is serious about ensuring Thurrock pupils have access to good schools.
Cllr Halden said: "We know Thurrock is growing and the demand for school places locally is important. We must build big and give parents real choice – Thameside and Somers Health are just the beginning.
"We have allocated £1.87million to improve East Tilbury Primary, which includes a financial contribution from the house-builder. Feasibility studies have begun and the council will manage the scheme start to finish, meaning the money will go directly to the classroom.
"St Clere's School has been allocated £1.2million for new classrooms and a school hall extension.
"Six new classrooms will be built at The Ockendon Academy thanks to £1million we have earmarked.
"In addition to the above projects, £8.3million capital money has been set aside to explore new programmes to reach our ambition for all Thurrock pupils attending a good or better school."