Plans to create more than 1,300 new school places in the borough received a huge boost as Thurrock's Cabinet confirmed it would release land to the Education and Skills Funding Agency to build two new schools.
Not only will the plans see 1,340 new school places created, but they will also enhance sports facilities available in Orsett thanks to an exciting partnership between South West Essex Community Education Trust, Thurrock Rugby Club and Thurrock Harriers Athletics Club, through which all rugby pitches and facilities will be retained for community use as part of the school development.
Orsett Heath Academy – a new 1,200-place secondary school run by the South West Essex Community Education Trust – will be built on land to the north west of Stanford Road in Grays.
Meanwhile, Treetops Special School – a 140-place all-through special school for pupils with autism and moderate learning difficulties – will be built on the former Torrells County Secondary School for Girls site in Buxton Road, Grays.
Subject to the necessary approvals, it is hoped Treetops Special School will be completed in 2020/21 and Orsett Heath Academy in 2021/22.
Cllr James Halden, portfolio holder for education and health, said; "These two new schools are an exciting development for the borough and will provide over 1,300 places for pupils in the Thurrock by 2023.
"They not only help ensure that there are enough school places to meet growing demand in Thurrock but will create new and enhanced community sporting facilities available to the community in Orsett.
"These innovative plans will benefit future generations as they grow, learn and play in Thurrock."