Sutton Council has been notified that the Department for Education has approved a proposal from the Harris Federation to open a new secondary school in the borough by September 2018.

The proposed site for the free school is at the former Sutton Hospital site in Belmont, which is currently owned by the council, though this remains subject to the necessary approvals.

The school will be on the site of The Institute for Cancer Research and The Royal Marsden Hospital and part of the proposed London Cancer Hub, a world-leading life-science campus specialising in cancer research, treatment, education and enterprise.

With the support of the Harris Federation, Sutton Council has been proactive in preparing a planning application for the new school in advance of this decision in order to deliver the secondary school for when it is needed.

The council has been consulting on the plans since May this year and borough residents have attended information evenings to hear about them.

Subject to planning approval, Sutton Council intends to work closely both with the Harris Federation and the Education Funding Agency to take the plans for the project forward. It is anticipated that the planning application for the new secondary school will be submitted in October and considered by the council’s Planning Committee in January 2017.

Cllr Wendy Mathys, Chair of the Children, Families and Education Committee at Sutton Council, said:

“It is fantastic news that the Government has approved the Harris Federation to run the much-needed secondary school proposed for the Sutton Hospital site. We look forward to working with the Harris Federation both in our aspiration for new and outstanding educational provision for the borough and also in the development of our exciting plans for the London Cancer Hub.

“We have been very proactive as a council in developing plans for the secondary school early. We look forward to working with the Harris Federation and the Education Funding Agency in making these exciting plans a reality.”