Go to navigation

Four new free schools to open in Medway

12 April

More than 3,500 extra places will be created at four new free schools in Medway. The news comes following an announcement from central government today (12 April), revealing the latest round of successful applications for free schools in England.

The new schools to open in Medway are:

• The Maritime Academy: a mainstream; all-through school (4-19 years) with places for 1940 pupils (including 250 sixth form pupils)

• Medway Academy: a mainstream; secondary school with places for 1150 pupils (including 250 sixth form pupils)

• Rochester Riverside Church of England Primary School: a mainstream; Christian faith primary school with places for 420 pupils

• The Beeches: an alternative provision primary school with places for 35 pupils with behavioural issues and excluded children.

They’ll be run by academy trusts and the works will be paid for and delivered by the Education Skills Funding Agency.

Considering viable locations

It is now up to Medway Council to consider viable locations, after which provisional opening dates will be set subject to planning permission and public consultations undertaken by the academy trusts. It is envisaged all four will be open and ready to accept pupils between 2019 and 2021.

As part of the council’s five-year school expansion programme 2013-2018, more than 2,800 additional places will be created. Today’s announcement brings the total number of new places to be delivered in Medway in the coming years to 6,345 - going some way in helping to meet the demand of the growing population.

Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder for Children’s Services Cllr Andrew Mackness said: “This is great news for Medway families. We are progressing well with our school expansion project, and the creation of four free schools is really going to help to address the national challenge of school capacity at a local level.

“Our population is growing and so it’s key that school capacity is addressed and taken seriously. We’re expecting large numbers of school applications in the coming years, especially for secondary schools, so this news is very welcome.

“Medway children are at the heart of everything we do, and the four new schools are only going to further strengthen the area’s education landscape.” Note for editors: A free school is the term used for a new academy."