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Beckenham Academy row rumbles on as opening deferred until 2017

PUBLISHED: 12:32 02 March 2016 | UPDATED: 13:18 02 March 2016

Balmoral Avenue site

Balmoral Avenue site

Archant

Parents have expressed their frustration in the latest controversy involving the planned school on Balmoral Avenue

Parents planning to send their children to a new academy in Beckenham have expressed their anger at having to find alternative options after opening of the school was deferred for 12 months.

E21C - the trust behind the Beckenham Academy on Balmoral Avenue - was informed by the Education Funding Agency (EFA) that the necessary planning processes for construction are being delayed.

As a result, the September 2016 intake would have to spend a significant amount of their education in temporary accommodation the Ravensbourne School, which would struggle to cope with the additional year groups.

A trust spokesperson said: “Whilst the trust is extremely disappointed in having to defer the opening of this new school for 12 months, the education and wellbeing of our students are paramount and a conclusion has been made with their best interests at heart.”

However, parents who would have been expecting to hear if their child had secured a place this week, responded to the decision with anger.

Gerri Keniger said: “What makes me cross is we’ve invested a lot of time in that school and in return we’ve just had secrecy and a lack of information,” while Nick Chase said “they have shown complete disregard to those who have supported them.”

Faye Bird said: “I feel extremely let down; try explaining this to an 11-year-old who has been stressing about moving that the school he had been hoping to attend is now not an option.”

Stuart Argent, of the No Academy In Balmoral Avenue residents group added: “I’d be spitting feathers if it was my child that was affected.

“We’re very unhappy about the way they have communicated throughout, particularly in the sense that any kind of criticism seems to be deleted from their pages.”

A spokesperson for E21C said in response: “We proactively moderate content on our page in order to prevent abusive, offensive and libellous comments.

“We will not delete comments as we welcome all views from people interested in the school.”

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