Brentwood’s new free school opens

The country’s only secondary Church of England free school opened in Brentwood this week.

Becket Keys, opened its doors on Tuesday welcoming 123 pupils to the Sawyers Hall Lane site. It is on the site of the former Sawyers Hall College, which closed in July.

Headteacher Andy Scott-Evans said on Tuesday: “Today is a day of firsts, notably for Brentwood and for our founding students, but nationally.

“I feel very proud of Becket Keys’ founding students and I know they will be a credit to this new school and our community.

“I will be working with students, parents, staff and governors to establish a school with the highest academic standards and a strong Christian ethos. I look forward to the contribution Becket Keys will make to the family of schools in Brentwood, Essex and the Diocese of Chelmsford.”

He added: “The last few weeks have been hectic, with everyone working together to get the site ready; including builders, decorators, ICT experts and grounds staff. Our teachers have carried on preparing lessons and activities despite the noise!”

Chair of governors, Ian Jorysz said: “It is wonderful that parents now have the choice to send their children to a Church of England secondary school in Brentwood.

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“We have much to be thankful for – particularly for the vision of the school’s original proposers Andy Scott-Evans and Iain Gunn but also for the professional support of Russell Education Trust (RET) and of the Diocese of Chelmsford.”