The new Beckenham Academy, which was due to accept its first intake of students in September 2016, has had to defer opening for a year because of delays in the planning process.
The academy, which recently purchased a site for its permanent location on Balmoral Avenue, will be run by the E21C trust, which already operates a number of primary and secondary schools.
The trust had to postpone the opening until 2017 after the Education Funding Agency informed them that construction of the school would be delayed because of the length of the planning process.
The first 180 students entering at year seven were due to spend the start of their time at the academy being taught in temporary facilities within The Ravensbourne School, which is also part of the same trust.
However, this is not a viable option for the extended period it will take to construct the school. It is problematic both in terms of the quality of the education the pupils would receive and the fact that The Ravensbourne School cannot accommodate the required number of students for this length of time.
In addition to the delayed opening, the Department for Education has also raised an issue with the use of The Beckenham Academy name. It believes it would cause confusion with the names of other schools in the area. The trust will now decide on a new name, which will be in place before the revised opening date.
Was your child due to start at The Beckenham Academy this September? How do you feel about the decision?
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