In response to significant demand from the local community for more high-quality school places for children in Barking and Dagenham, a bid to open an all-through free school was submitted to the Department for Education (DfE). The proposal outlined the need for the school and provided evidence to show that more school places would be needed in the area for children of all ages.
In May 2013, the DfE gave the go ahead for the proposed Goresbrook School to progress to the implementation stage with an expectation of it opening in September 2014. United Learning – a group of independent schools and academies – was asked to sponsor the school.
United Learning began developing plans for the school and opened applications for the school’s first Reception pupils. As part of the school’s development, a public consultation was launched to invite and understand the views of prospective parents and the local community.
At the same time, United Learning set up a community and parents forum in order to consult parents and the local community on a range of issues as the school develops. Anyone living locally – including those without children of school age – was invited to join the forum. Parents and members of the community are still very welcome to be part of our very active group '' FROGS '' (Friends and relatives of Goresbrook School.) This group meets regularly to help with school events, fundraising and provide feedback to the school on a range of issues.
The school is located on the large Goresbrook Leisure Centre site on Ripple Road in Dagenham. United Learning is currently working with architects on a programme of building works which will transform the site into an outstanding, modern school complex
In October 2013, the Department for Education approved plans to open an outstanding nursery provision on the same site as the school. It is planned that this will open in September 2015.
In December 2013, Miss Clare Darley was appointed as the school’s first Principal. Miss Darley is currently Vice Principal at United Learning’s Paddington Academy which has been judged ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted and is one of the most improved schools in London. She began her teaching career as a science teacher before taking on a number of leadership positions at the academy. Miss Darley has also worked alongside Wilberforce Primary in West London supporting staff to raise the standard of teaching and learning at the school.
In September 2014, Goresbrook School welcomed its first three classes of Reception pupils, who enjoyed their start to school in temporary accommodation on our permanent site. In September 2015, Goresbrook School opened for three-year olds. Then in April 2016, our growing Primary school moved into our new state-of-the-art building. In September 2016, our first Year 7 pupils began their journey. We will continue to grow in Primary and Secondary each year with all year groups from Nursery to 6th form. Our 6th form is planned to open in 2022.