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Public backing for new academy in Ongar
The Ongar Academy campaign, established in 2012 with tha aim of building a new secondary school in Ongar, has received public backing.
Almost 1,000 people supported the proposal during a public consultation, with only 12 registering their opposition.
The secondary school is scheduled to open in September 2015, with a target intake of 120 pupils a year.
So far, 680 parents have signed up for 808 children to attend the school as their first choice, with 226 children for the first two years.
The campaign group currently need parents of 14 extra children, currently in Year Five, to express an interest in the school to reach its targets.
Figures released by Essex County Council show there are currently 798 children attending secondary schools in the Ongar Academy's catchment area and this is set to increase by over 40% in the next seven years.
Project leader, Jeff Banks said: "Essex County Council have very helpfully provided information on the school population over the coming years and have accepted there will be significant pressure on places from 2017 onwards. Not only do parents from Ongar want an excellent local Academy, there is clearly the need for one."
Four potential sites for the school have been considered. The preferred option is to use a combination of new and existing buildings near Ongar Leisure Centre in Fyfield Road. The other areas under consideration are two undisclosed plots of land and a building at Fyfield Business Park.
The group's application to the Department for Education to open the school has to be submitted before May 9.
Parents can still register their interest in The Ongar Academy by completing the paper survey or by visiting: www.theongaracademy.org/interest