Residents invited to consult on new free school earmarked for west of Redbridge

There are proposals to open a new free school in the west of the borough. Picture: David Davies/PA

There are proposals to open a new free school in the west of the borough. Picture: David Davies/PA - Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images

Plans to bring a new secondary school and sixth form to the west of the borough are now in motion.

The Thomas Lucas Academy Trust plans to open the free school in September 2018, pending approval, and it is holding two consultation events to get residents to back the plan.

The trust needs 400 signatures from people within the borough to progress with the application.

Under the plans the Thomas Lucas Academy would start with 180 Year 7 pupils, rising to a capacity of 1,150 with a sixth form in 2025.

Redbridge was identified as having a need for “high quality, secondary places” by Department of Education (DfE) figures.

In a press statement, the trust said: “The school will offer a broad, balanced curriculum that will aim to inspire academic success, resilience and confidence in every child.

“An emphasis on cutting edge technology and digital skills will help to level the playing field for all students and equip them for the jobs of the future.”

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The proposed free school will be state funded, and operated by the Thomas Lucas Academy Trust, which includes representatives from the education and technology sectors, the Royal London Society for Blind People and parents.

The trust will keep five per cent of its annual intake for visually impaired students.

A spokeswoman from the Thomas Lucas Academy said: “Our vision is for a school where every pupil, irrespective of their specific needs, aptitude or background leaves with the self-belief, qualifications and motivation to achieve their potential.

“We are partnering with education and technology experts who offer the experience, insight and creativity to deliver a school with a truly inclusive and technology-enabled environment.”

The consultations are at Fullwell Cross Library, High Street, Barkingside, on July 12 from 4pm to 8pm, and at Wanstead Library, Spratt Hall Road, Wanstead, on July 19 at the same time.

You can register your interest at