Plans for a new 70-place free school have been agreed in a major boost to the education of "vulnerable and young people" in Tilbury.

Olive Academies Trust has received the Department for Education's (DfE) approval to build the alternative provision (AP) school behind the existing Olive AP Academy - Thurrock, in Leicester Road.

The new school, for 11 to 19-year-olds, will specialise in dealing with social, emotional and mental health (SEMH) issues.

Opening to students in September 2025, it will help the most needy children and young people to re-engage with education and develop vital skills on part of the current academy site

Mark Vickers, chief executive officer of Olive Academies Trust, said: "I am delighted that Olive Academies has been given the opportunity to provide much-needed support to vulnerable children and young people in the area.

Thurrock Gazette: The free school, to be located behind Olive AP Academy, Thurrock on part of the current academy

"I believe this decision reflects the quality of work taking place in our existing academies and the impact our therapeutic approach is having on pupils.

“The longstanding partnership we hold with Thurrock Council further adds to the strength in the provision we are able to offer pupils and their families."

The trust’s approach combines three key elements, which are, outstanding education centred on a therapeutic teaching and learning model; excellent support in schools including outreach work; and exceptional training and professional development.

Councillor Adam Carter, Thurrock Council cabinet member for education, said: “I was overjoyed to hear that the government has confirmed that it is providing funding for Olive Academies to create a new alternative provision secondary school in Tilbury.

"This is excellent news for the local community and will create a fantastic new educational facility.

"Congratulations go to the academy and officers who supported this successful bid, we look forward to seeing the school grow and thrive. This will be a fantastic facility for families and young people in Tilbury.”

Mr Vickers added: "I am grateful for the support we have already received and look forward to working with colleagues at the local authority and other stakeholders to provide more young people with a high-quality transformative education that effectively meets their individual needs.”