The Ongar Academy Passes Key Tests, Newsletter #6
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The Ongar Academy Newsletter

July, 2015

Welcome to our latest newsletter giving up-to-date information about The Ongar Academy. The Ongar Academy has successfully passed a number of regulatory hurdles and we have been busy putting the finishing touches on our plans in preparation for welcoming the first students in September this year. Over the coming weeks we will be welcoming our students to a number of taster days and events which will help bond our founder cohort.

Upcoming Events


July 11, 8:30- 17:15

Year 6 Taster Day,
Stubbers Activity Centre

July 13, 17:30 - 19:30

Year 6 Parent/Carer Picnic

September 7

First Day of School

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All students to receive a state-of-the-art Chromebook

Headteacher, David Grant announced on Monday 6th July at our Year 6 Parents Information Meeting  that every student of The Ongar Academy is to receive their own brand new chromebook. This announcement coincided with The Ongar Academy receiving formal recognition for its STEM specialism (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) from the nationally recognised Specialist Schools Trust.
“I am thrilled to acknowledge this incredible development prior to the delivery of our buildings in August. The Specialist Schools Trust are incredibly keen to work with us and for them to have formally recognised our STEM values even before we are formally open is testimony to the hard work of the staff and governors. I would very much like to personally thank Rebecca Hingston, my Assistant Headteacher, who has led the way on the application process”.
David Grant, Headteacher
An example of the Chromebook students will be receiving on the first day of school. 

  • 11.6 inch display
  • 1366x768 resolution
  • Quad-core CPU
  • Excellent battery life 

Department for Education - Readiness to Open Meeting

On 10th June, the team attended a ‘Readiness to Open’ at the Department for Education, which covered a range of issues from finance to pupil numbers; policies to the curriculum. Headteacher, David Grant, Chair of Governing Body, Pete Marchant and Project Officer, Jeff Banks, were put through their paces by a team of eight officials from the Department for Education who were highly impressed with our preparations.

Ofsted Pre-Opening Inspection

On 16th June, Inspectors from OFSTED visited the site and spent the day with the Headteacher, Assistant Headteacher and the Governing Body reviewing staffing, premises proposals and working through, in fine detail, all of the paperwork covering the day-to-day operation of the school.
“The Ongar Academy were delighted with the response from the DfE and we really enjoyed sharing our plans and proposals with the Inspector from OFSTED. Our Headteacher and his team worked incredibly hard in putting in place everything we need to have a successful start and we are pretty much 100% ready for the opening now”.
Pete Marchant, Chair of Governors
Pictured from left to right: Jeff Banks, Project Officer; Pete Marchant, Chair; and David Grant, Headteacher.

Planning Permission Granted

Then, on 17th June, Members at Epping Forest District Council voted to approve the Planning Application for temporary accommodation on the Ongar Campus. Significant support was expressed for the proposals, with fifteen members voting in favour of the application and none against.
“I fully endorse the provision of a school at Ongar Leisure Centre, it has been thoroughly thought out and a lot of work has gone into it. There is clearly a need for a school in that area”.
Cllr.Nigel Bedford, EFDC
"It is accepted that there is a need to provide choice of schools in the area. At the moment most children have to be bussed a considerable distance to get to school. There is no local school […] and this facility will provide and alternative choice for local children. We have received support from a large number of addresses”.
Jill Shingler, Senior Planning Officer, EFDC

Delivery of buildings starts

In the week commencing 6th July, contractors start preparation work for the delivery of the purpose built premises which will form the home of the academy whilst the new school is being built.
The main contractor, Elliott, based in Peterborough, will be installing an impressive suite of purpose built buildings for the Academy, adjacent to the Ongar Leisure Centre, giving excellent access to the facilities on the Ongar Campus. Elliott, who were selected by the Department for Education after a competitive tender, have unrivalled experience in providing purpose built permanent, temporary, and relocatable schools and classrooms to the education sector.
The facilities will include a range of high quality teaching spaces and administration offices which will complement the existing facilities on the Ongar Campus, such as the sports centre, swimming pool and youth centre.
The buildings are on schedule to be delivered on 29th July and will be handed over to the Academy shortly thereafter.


Catering and equipment contracts finalised

The Ongar Academy has selected the companies who will be supplying fixtures, fittings and equipment for The Ongar Academy and will shortly be awarding the contract to the catering supplier, who will be serving hot and cold food to our students from September.

Sir Eric Pickles MP visits The Ongar Academy

Headteacher, David Grant, with Sir Eric Pickles MP

Finally, on 5th June, Sir Eric Pickles MP kindly visited the school and met Headteacher, David Grant and Assistant Headteacher, Rebecca Hingston. The team were very pleased to update Sir Eric on progress with the Academy.
"I am pleased to hear that the Ongar Academy has received unanimous support from Epping Forest District Council’s Planning Committee for the temporary classrooms to enable the school to open in September. I very much look forward to seeing the school flourish and bring with it an excellent standard of education for local children".
Sir Eric Pickles, MP for Brentwood and Ongar
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