New Ilford academy school could also teach primary-aged children

Ilford’s first newly built academy school is eyeing up the possibility of opening a linked primary.

The Isaac Newton Academy in High Road, which is due to open in September, has launched a campaign to gauge the level of interest in opening primary classes.

An spokesman for ARK Schools, which will run the new academy, said: “We know that there’s a need for primary schools in the area, and Ilford is not short of derelict land.

“It was an idea we had right from the start, but now we’ve spoken to Redbridge Council and have its support, the next step is to find out the level of interest from prospective parents.”

Principal Rachel Macfarlane is appealing for parents of prospective primary school-aged children to sign the online petition supporting the proposals, while ARK Schools takes the first steps to secure funding from the Department for Education.

ARK School’s proposal is to open a three form entry primary phase in September 2014, starting with 90 reception-aged children, expanding year-on-year. When they reach Year 6 the children would automatically qualify for the secondary school.

It has not yet been decided whether the primary phase will be on the site of the academy or elsewhere.

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If the plans go ahead, Isaac Newton Academy will join the Loxford School of Science and Technology in Loxford Lane, Ilford, in becoming the only “all-through” schools in the borough.

Ms Macfarlane said: “We believe this would create an amazing opportunity for young people in Ilford to benefit from a coherent and extended educational provision, where the transition points between key stages are smoothly managed and there is a strong 15-year partnership between school, parents and carers.”

To view the petition, log on to