Becket Keys Church of England School
Becket Keys school badge
|Religion||Church of England|
Sawyers Hall Lane|
Coordinates: 51°37′37″N 0°18′06″E / 51.6269°N 0.3016°E
|DfE URN||138239 Tables|
|Students||1050 (by Sept 2018)|
|Colours||Purple, Gold, Black and Grey|
Becket Keys Church of England School is a free school established in Brentwood, Essex, England in 2012. It was the first Church of England secondary school to be established as part of the free schools programme. The school is sponsored by Russell Education Trust.
The head teacher of Becket Keys is Andy Scott-Evans. He was also the original proposer for the school. The school was officially dedicated by Bishop John Wraw on 5 October 2012. It has been established at the former campus of Sawyers Hall College.
The school received a judgement of Outstanding at its first full Ofsted inspection in May 2014. The school also received a judgement of Outstanding at its first full Church of England inspection in January 2016 Becket Keys Church of England School SIAMS Inspection
The idea for Becket Keys Church of England School was put forward by Andy Scott Evans who was then the head teacher of St Thomas of Canterbury Junior School and Iain Gunn head teacher of St Peter’s Primary School South Weald. They said there was a need for a Church of England secondary school in Brentwood, as there were eleven Church of England primaries, but no equivalent secondary option. They formed a project steering group, comprising local parents; local primary head-teachers; and the Diocese of Chelmsford. In April 2011 the group selected the Russell Education Trust as their educational partner. Collectively they formed the Becket Keys CofE Free School Trust.
In June 2011, the Becket Keys CofE Free School Trust submitted a Free School proposal to the Department for Education (DfE) along with evidence of support from over 1,100 local parents. They were interviewed by the DfE about their proposal on 9 August 2011, and just over a month later they were granted approval by the Secretary of State for Education to establish the school.
The school opened in September 2012 with 123 Year 7 pupils, and nine teachers.
Opposition & Criticism
The statutory consultation that preceded the signing of the free school funding agreement, received 212 responses, of which 22 (10.5%) were against the Becket Keys CofE Free School Trust entering into an agreement with the Secretary of State.
The approval of Becket Keys was opposed by some people who wanted the Sawyers Hall Lane site to be used for a studio school or a university technical college instead.
Feedback received during the pre-opening statutory consultation led to a change in the school’s proposed admissions policy, which in turn resulted in criticism from some of the school’s original supporters.
The opening of the school in September 2012 was blamed by some people for a drop in pupil numbers at two other local secondary schools. The Department for Education later released the impact assessment used in their decision to open the school, and by 2014, following improvements in performance, all but one of the secondary schools in Brentwood was full.
As a new school Becket Keys benefited from a start-up grant to cover its initial set-up costs. A local newspaper claimed that Becket Keys students would therefore receive more funding per head compared to students in established local schools, but that claim was refuted by the school's headteacher.
Admissions to the school have proved controversial since opening in 2012. In every year since 2012 the school has been heavily oversubscribed. In 2014, parents who helped set up the school complained that they now find it very difficult to get a place for their child in the school. Brentwood Gazette have reported parents' concerns. The school publishes its admissions information on its website. . In 2012, the school was accused of creaming off the best students through its admissions policy. A study written by the Department for Education identified another local school (Brentwood County High School) as being likely to be highly affected by this new school in terms of admissions. The British Humanist Association criticised the school for looking to expand its intake of Christian students, but the admissions policy remains largely unchanged. Priority is given to siblings. After siblings, the remaining places are split 50:50 between those with Christian faith references and those who live closest to the school. Parents on MumsNet suggest that the school is benefiting from a certain type of student and is doing well as a result of considerable additional funding; they go on to express concerns that it is going to cause Shenfield High School to close. In 2015 Becket Keys added both St Thomas of Canterbury Church of England Aided Junior School and St Peter's South Weald to their admissions policy giving greater priority to parents from these schools.
New Buildings and Facilities
The school has benefited from considerable additional funding for new buildings. T&B Contractors have completed two phases of extensive improvement works. Firstly a £3,400,000 phase 1 programme was completed which ensured the school opened on time and made the site secure with a new boundary fence and wall. Secondly, a £4,000,000 refurbishment programme of the buildings was concluded in 2015. These extensive works included landscaping, new security systems, redecorating every area of the school, installing new windows and doors, new heating and lighting. Also at this time all the new ICT infrastructure was installed. The IT management company 'Joskos' have publicly acknowledged Becket Keys as one of their most significant customers with £750,000 being spent with the supplier.
It has recently announced that it has received funding for a new teaching block. It will call this new Block 'The Welby Building' and it expects to open this new facility in 2017. The new building will house the new sixth form study and social areas. It will also include 16 brand new classrooms, offices and other facilities.
A new Sports Hall is also expected to be built soon as the school is known to have successfully bid for funding from the Academies Condition Improvement Fund. The new sports hall is expected to be an investment into the school of around £2,000,000 which takes the total capital investment to over £12,000,000 in this Free School.
- "Christian school puts its faith in head who pioneered new vision | This is Essex". Thisistotalessex.co.uk. 11 February 2012. Archived from the original on 2012-02-13. Retrieved 4 April 2013.
- "School Report: Becket Keys Church of England Free School" (PDF). Becket Keys School Website. Ofsted. Retrieved 15 June 2014.
- "Heads have a vision for Christian school in the town". This is Total Essex. March 29, 2011. Retrieved 7 April 2013.
- Meyler, Piers (April 20, 2011). "Educational trust lends its weight to Christian school". Brentwood Gazette. Archived from the original on 2014-06-10. Retrieved 7 April 2013.
- "Company Check for Becket Keys Church of England Free School Trust". Company Check. Archived from the original on 2014-01-12. Retrieved 7 April 2013.
- "Parents overjoyed at campaign outcome | This is Essex". Thisistotalessex.co.uk. 13 October 2011. Archived from the original on 2011-10-15. Retrieved 4 April 2013.
- "Church school faces its last test | This is Essex". Thisistotalessex.co.uk. 3 August 2011. Retrieved 4 April 2013.
- "Brentwood free school to be the largest in the country | This is Essex". Thisistotalessex.co.uk. 13 October 2011. Archived from the original on 2011-10-15. Retrieved 4 April 2013.
- "Parents will have chance to make views known on Becket Keys school | This is Essex". Thisistotalessex.co.uk. 25 February 2012. Archived from the original on 2012-03-01. Retrieved 4 April 2013.
- "Consultation: Report on outcomes". Becket Keys School Website. Retrieved 27 June 2014.
- "Free Schools model funding agreement". DfE Website. Archived from the original on 2013-02-19. Retrieved 8 April 2013.
- "Free Schools model funding agreement: Single academy trusts". Department for Education Website. Archived from the original on 2013-12-29. Retrieved 16 May 2013.
- "England's largest secondary free school opens in Brentwood | This is Essex". Thisistotalessex.co.uk. 5 September 2012. Archived from the original on 2012-09-07. Retrieved 4 April 2013.
- "Teachers taking classes at new school revealed | This is Essex". Thisistotalessex.co.uk. 14 June 2012. Retrieved 4 April 2013.
- "sawyers hall: Vocational education 'fills a gap in town's needs' | This is Essex". Thisistotalessex.co.uk. 26 May 2011. Retrieved 4 April 2013.
- "New head has never taught senior pupils". This is Total Essex. February 8, 2012. Archived from the original on 2012-02-12. Retrieved 8 April 2013.
- "New Becket Keys school is accused of 'creaming off' best pupils | This is Essex". Thisistotalessex.co.uk. 5 April 2012. Archived from the original on 2013-05-24. Retrieved 4 April 2013.
- "Brentwood's Becket Keys school in conflict with its own supporters | This is Essex". Thisistotalessex.co.uk. 27 June 2012. Retrieved 4 April 2013.
- "New Brentwood free school is blamed for drop in pupil numbers | This is Essex". Thisistotalessex.co.uk. 28 March 2012. Archived from the original on 2012-04-04. Retrieved 4 April 2013.
- "Becket Keys Free School : Impact Assessment - Section 9 Academies Act Duty" (PDF). www.gov.uk. Department for Education. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-02-22. Retrieved 15 February 2014.
- Meyler, Piers (4 September 2014). "Shenfield High School head: 'Empty spaces down to our reinvention'". Brentwood Gazette. Retrieved 6 September 2014.
- "Free Schools FAQs - funding". Department for Education Website. Archived from the original on 2014-04-21. Retrieved 14 May 2013.
- "Becket Keys pupils get £3k a year more than others in Brentwood | This is Essex". Thisistotalessex.co.uk. 3 December 2012. Retrieved 4 April 2013.
- MumsNet http://www.mumsnet.com/Talk/secondary/2113068-Becket-Keys-Church-of-England-Free-School-Brentwood. Missing or empty
- "Two Crucial Primaries Added". Brentwood Gazette. Retrieved 15 May 2016.
- T and B Contractors http://www.tandbcontractors.com/news/phase-1-complete-at-becket-keys-free-school. Retrieved 30 April 2016. Missing or empty
- T and B Contractors http://www.tandbcontractors.com/case-studies/becket-keys-free-school. Missing or empty
- Channel Web http://www.channelweb.co.uk/crn-uk/news/2171078/joskos-wins-schools-ict-deal. Retrieved 30 April 2016. Missing or empty
- You Tube. Joskos https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sRSe9Wh9RQ0. Retrieved 30 April 2016. Missing or empty
- The Brentwood Gazette. Brentwood Gazette http://www.brentwoodgazette.co.uk/Plans-pound-3m-block-16-classrooms/story-28652965-detail/story.html. Retrieved 30 April 2016. Missing or empty