04:30PM, Friday 21 February 2020
Residents are overwhelmingly in favour of a new ‘through school’ at the site of a former secondary school, it has emerged.
More than 500 people responded to a public consultation on a proposal for Lent Rise Primary School to become a school for children aged four to 18 in Opendale Road, and almost all (98 per cent) were in favour.
The proposed development, on the site of the E-ACT Burnham Park Academy, has been drawn up jointly by Lent Rise School, now in Coulson Way, and Burnham Grammar School, in Hogfair Lane.
There are no comprehensive secondary schools in the village following the closure of the E-ACT Burnham Park Academy in August, after a rapid decline in pupil numbers.
Governors from Burnham Grammar and Lent Rise are in discussions with the Regional Schools Commissioner’s team and Buckinghamshire County Council, and are set to meet Burnham MP Joy Morrissey.
Dr Andrew Gillespie, head teacher at Burnham Grammar and executive head of Beeches Learning and Development Trust, said: “Parental choice is extremely limited and predictions for housing growth show a likely future where children in Burnham do not have a secondary school place.
“Our community needs secondary provision and, by working together and sharing the expertise of Lent Rise and Burnham Grammar, we can build a positive future for these children.”
Jill Watson, head teacher of Lent Rise School, said: “Parents continue to express to us concern for their children’s future, particular those of younger children who have the very real fear that the level of development in the local area means it is only a matter of time before there is no out-of-area provision available at all.
“This is a long road but one that we are more convinced than ever is the right one to take.”
Next steps for the project include working with the local authority and enlisting a partner to secure the short-term future of the site in Opendale Road.
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