On the 28th September 2016 the Thomas Lucas Academy Trust submitted its application to open a new secondary school and sixth form for Redbridge to the Department for Education.

The proposal group, including teachers, parents, education and technology experts and the charity the RLSB (Royal London Society for Blind People) have submitted an application for a new secondary free school and sixth form for 1140 pupils to open in 2019 following consultation with the local community.

This application represents many months of dedication and hard work. To complete the lengthy 100-page application form the Thomas Lucas Academy Trust had to write detailed education plans and budgets; explain why the school is needed by this community and demonstrate that it has local support.

If the application is approved, the next stage will be a rigorous interview with the Department for Education, after which they will hear whether their school has been given the green light to open.

Florence Orban of the Thomas Lucas Academy Trust said:
“We would like to thank the hundreds of local parents, businesses and community groups who have supported and helped shape our proposal for the Thomas Lucas Academy to best serve the children in Redbridge. We are excited to have submitted our application, and are keen to progress and develop our plans, pending Department for Education approval. We will continue our community outreach in the coming months, so that if successful we are in the best position possible to work with the whole community to set up the school.”

Thomas Lucas Academy was supported through the application process by national education charity New Schools Network.

Sarah Pearson, Interim Director of New Schools Network, said:

“The Thomas Lucas Academy Trust has worked tirelessly to prepare an application for the Department for Education and we hope they will have the chance to put their plans into action and see their vision of a fantastic new school realised.

“There are now more than 500 free schools open or approved to open across the country and the momentum of the programme continues to increase. These schools are proving popular with parents and are providing good new school places where they are needed.”

You can find out more about the school on the website here and you can also keep up to date with the progress of the Thomas Lucas Academy’s application by signing up to receive email updates here.

Update: On the 1st January 2017 the Royal London Society for Blind People (RLSB) changed its name to the Royal Society for Blind Children (RSBC) read more here.