Minister scraps plans to build new primary school in Saffron Walden

PUBLISHED: 17:13 12 March 2019

RA Butler Academy, Saffron Walden, is part of Saffron Academy Trust. Picture: SaffronPhoto

RA Butler Academy, Saffron Walden, is part of Saffron Academy Trust. Picture: SaffronPhoto

SaffronPhoto 2016

Plans to build a new primary free school in Saffron Walden have been scrapped as new forecasts demonstrate the project is no longer needed.

Saffron Academy Trust has received a letter from the schools’ minister, Lord Theodore Agnew, to cancel the project to establish the new primary free school, called Saffron Primary School.

The school was to be a new-build project on the new housing development next to Tesco in Radwinter Road.

In his letter, Lord Agnew explained that the reason for the cancellation was that Essex County Council had issued new forecasts for school places in the town that demonstrate that there is no longer a need for a new primary school.

Lord Agnew stated the following: “It has become increasingly clear that there is no need for additional school places in the proposed location of the free school.”

Lord Agnew said the decision was “not a reflection of the high esteem” in which the multi-academy trust is held by the Department of Education.

CEO of Saffron Academy Trust, Caroline Derbyshire, said that although the cancellation is a disappointment because a considerable amount of work has gone into the project to date, she understood the decision if the need for primary school places is no longer an issue for the town.

“To open a new school that is not needed would put additional funding pressure on the town’s existing schools,” she said.

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