Essex CC: SHC site use still undecided

Following discrepancies between quotes on the use of the Sawyers Hall College (SHC) site from those behind the proposed Becket Keys Church of England School, we are grateful for the up to date position that has been provided to Educating Brentwood today from Essex CC.

Following an update to the Becket Keys website on Tuesday 21st February, “founding headteacher” Mr Andy Scott-Evans is quoted as saying, “we expect to secure the areas of the site that we want.” However, in the Brentwood Gazette that was published on the same day, the inference is different. Here, Mr Scott-Evans states, “we have secured the areas of the site that we wanted.”

As previously reported, Essex CC were still in talks with Partnership for Schools, the government agency used by the Department for Education, in their words, “to ensure that taxpayers get the best value from every education pound spent”. Following a request for clarification from Educating Brentwood, Essex CC have confirmed that talks have been held in the last week and provided the following statement this morning:

“The promoters of Becket Keys have been carrying out a great deal of preparatory work towards the opening of the Free School and have identified the areas that they will need for a secondary school of the size they are planning.  There is agreement on the general principles of how the site will be shared by the school and its other users, but detailed discussions are still going on to define precisely the details of the arrangements.”

It is clear then that use of the SHC site post-September 2012 is still under discussion. This also includes clarification of who else intends to use it. Until this has been confirmed and made public it is difficult to see how parents will be able to make an informed choice of school for their child for September 2012 entry. The date by which parents are required to commit should therefore be delayed until this is known.

Brentwood deserves clarity



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