01:00PM, Friday 11 October 2019
Two schools in Burnham are proposing to join forces to open a new school at the site of a failed secondary.
Burnham Grammar School in Hogfair Lane and the primary school Lent Rise in Coulson Way are in the early stages of discussions with the regional schools commissioner and Buckinghamshire County Council about the potential project.
The E-ACT Burnham Park Academy, the co-educational secondary school in Opendale Road, closed in August following a rapid decline in pupil numbers.
A public meeting was due to be held at Burnham Community Library, Windsor Lane, last night (Thursday), attended by Lent Rise head teacher Jill Watson, Dr Andy Gillespie, head teacher at Burnham Grammar, and trustees from the two schools.
Mrs Watson said: “We are discussing the possibility of developing a new through-school, providing both primary and secondary education.
“Lent Rise School and Burnham Grammar would be working closely together to ensure that all students experience an inspirational, supportive, engaging and demanding curriculum that enables every child to be their best.”
Dr Gillespie said: “This is a sad end to a school that has served the Burnham community well for much of its 50-year history.
“Of greater concern, however, is the potential impact on local children.
“There are already at least 18 classes of Year 6 pupils within a 10-minute walk of Opendale Road.
“As house building programmes gather pace it is clear that, in the near future, students from Burnham will not be able to gain places in neighbouring county schools as they would live too far away.
“At the present time Burnham students will either go to Burnham Grammar School, to Bourne End Academy or to a secondary school in Slough or Maidenhead.
“Although many of these schools offer an excellent education, there is no guarantee that they will always have room for so many students outside their catchment.”
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