Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting TGNEWS to 80360 or you can email us Click here for details »
Now Beacon's set to be an academy
8:00am Saturday 27th October 2012 in News
BEACON Hill School in South Ockendon has become the borough’s first special academy.
The school, in Erriff Drive, is one of around 40 special schools in the country to make the leap to academy status.
Headteacher Richard Milligan is thrilled to have converted, and believes the independence will better enable the school to carry out its “exciting future plans”.
He said: “We have some very exciting plans for the future and want to be able to serve the community in Thurrock as best we can.
“We are not sponsored by anyone so we are independent, it’s a big responsibility, but we are really looking forward to it.”
Mr Milligan said the school is proud to be among the few special schools in the country which have been granted academy status.
He said: “We are in the first 40 or so schools in the country to do this. You have to be an outstanding school, and we were judged outstanding in 2009, and then again under Ofsted’s new framework in our latest inspection, which we are very proud of.”
Beacon Hill is one of two special schools in Thurrock. It teaches pupils aged three to 16 with severe and profound multiple learning difficulties. It also has a sixth form on another site. Kenningtons School, in Aveley, has recently become the fourth primary in the borough to convert to an academy.
All of the borough’s secondary schools apart from two have converted – Grays School applied to become an academy in July, and Grays Convent is considering it.
In July this year Thurrock Council published a report about the future of its education department, in the face of more of its schools becoming academies.
It said: “Local authorities now have to adopt a more strategic role as they move from being a provider of education to a significant commissioner of education.”