An application to bring sixth forms to four Epping Forest schools has been approved.

Roding Valley High School, Loughton, St John’s School, Epping, Debden Park High School, Loughton and King Harold Business and Enterprise Academy, Waltham Abbey, are set to offer 594 places by September 2016.

An announcement informing the bid had been successful was made yesterday by the Department of Education.

A small amount of expansion will be required at three of the schools - Debden Park, Roding Valley and Epping St John's - with six additional classrooms required on each school site from the 2017-18 academic year.

Buckhurst Hill and Loughton South county councillor Valerie Metcalfe said: “It has been my mission for five years for the schools to achieve this bid, I think it will make a difference, I think it will be positive and I think it will make a difference to young persons education.

“It will benefit students, providing stability and continuity.

“It’s very exciting, it will transform the schools. Parents often worry where to send their children and where will be suitable, now there will be choices.”

Places will be available to students going into Year 11 where tehy will be given the choice if they wish to carry on into the new sixth forms from September 2015.