Leigh Academy in Dartford Plans Expansion to Meet Growing Population Demands

Leigh Academy in Dartford Plans Expansion to Meet Growing Population Demands

The Leigh Academy, located in Dartford, is taking steps to address the growing population in the area by proposing an expansion of its student intake.

The school, which is currently home to 1,359 students aged 11 to 19, is planning to increase its published admission number (PAN) from 270 to 300 by September 2026. This comes after an increase in its Year 7 intake from 240 to 270 last September.

The proposed expansion is in response to the expected population growth in Dartford, as well as the need for more secondary school places due to new housing developments in the area. The Leigh Academies Trust (LAT), which operates 31 academies and serves over 20,000 students and 3,500 staff, is leading the effort to expand the school.

Richard Taylor, the Trust’s people and communications director, expressed the excitement surrounding the proposed expansion and its potential to provide high-quality education to a greater number of students. He also mentioned that preliminary assessments have shown that there is sufficient space for the proposed expansion and that detailed planning and design consultations are underway to ensure the new building will not only accommodate more students but also enhance the existing facilities.

A public consultation is currently underway to gather feedback from parents and residents about the proposed expansion. The results will be presented to Kent County Council’s children, young people and education cabinet committee, who will make the final decision on whether to grant funding for the project. If approved, construction is expected to begin in spring 2025.

Councillor Ricky Jones, who represents Princes ward, has expressed his support for the proposed expansion as long as the community is in favor of it as well. He believes that an expansion would be beneficial for the area, but also wants to ensure that all residents are happy with the decision.

As a local journalist, I will continue to monitor the progress of this proposed expansion and provide updates as more information becomes available.

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