Seven Kings free school given go-ahead by government

Work is about to begin on a �2.8million free school on the site of a Seven Kings community centre.

Builders are expected to move into the Downshall Centre, Aldborough Road South, next week to start transforming it into the 420-place Aldborough E-Act Free School after Education Secretary Michael Gove signed off �2.8million of government funding.

The school is now on target to open in September with 120 children filling reception and Year 1 groups.

Redbridge Council, which is organising admissions for the school, has received 108 expressions of interest for the 60 places in the reception group and 28 for the 60 Year 1 places.

Mark Greatrex, E-Act project director, said: “We’ve been working very hard to put everything in place ready for September, and would like to thank everybody involved for their support.

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“With the funding agreement in place, we are ready to move into the final phase.”

He added: “This will be an excellent school in the Seven Kings area of Redbridge, adding to the outstanding education provision in the area.”

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The organisation is expected to formally take over the keys to the building from the council next week.

Many of the teachers, including principal Nicola Percy, have been appointed and non-teaching staff were attending interviews this week.

Mr Greatrex said there are still places left in Year 1 of the school and encouraged prospective parents to register their interest with the council.

The decision to hand the Downshall Centre to free school provider E-Act was taken by Redbridge Council in March amid concern from residents and disabled groups who use the building on a daily basis.

But many of the community groups have been relocated with help from the council and others have been told they can stay on for another year.

Mr Greatrex added: “We have agreed that the user groups are able to work in the building for the first year.

“The local authority have worked very hard to find alternative arrangements.”

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