A Bromley school offering specialist provision for young people with social, emotional and mental health (SEMH) needs has been officially opened by the Mayor, Councillor Ian Payne this week.

Bromley Beacon Academy (BBA) is part of the Bromley Educational Trust and already has one campus based in Orpington. Due to the growing demand for places, a £3.5 million investment by Bromley Council has enabled the Trust to build a brand new campus situated in Old Homesdale Road.

Across its two campuses, the BBA offers provision for 7-18 year olds with Education Health Care Plans (EHCP), many of which have complex SEMH needs.

The new Bromley Campus, named Beacon House, is specifically for 14-18 year olds. It has a range of specialist vocational areas to help equip students with the skills they need to progress into further education or employment.

Industry-standard facilities include a motorcycle workshop, food technology suite, music recording studio and construction centre. The curriculum also focuses on developing students’ maths and English skills, to increase employability.

Alongside the Mayor, guests attending the official opening included Bob Neill MP, Chief Executive of Bromley Council, Doug Patterson and musician Andrez Harriott (from the band Damage).

CEO of Bromley Educational Trust, Sam Parrett, welcomed guests to the launch event. She said: “Bromley Educational Trust took over the failing Burwood School in 2015 and converted it to Bromley Beacon Academy; expanding provision from 11-16 year old boys to a mixed school for 7-18 year olds.

“In this time, thanks to the tireless work of executive head teacher Neil Miller and his dedicated team, Bromley Beacon Academy has completely transformed specialist provision for young people with SEMH needs.

“The £3.5m investment to build this incredible new campus has brought so many benefits to young people and their families. We are extremely grateful to the Local Authority for recognising the need to improve alternative and special provision in the Borough.

“Not only do students receive the specialist support they need, they also have the opportunity to learn a variety of vocational skills to help prepare them for the real world of work.

“I have no doubt that BBA will continue going from strength to strength and I thank everyone involved for their continuing support.”

Executive Head Teacher of BBA, Neil Miller, added: “Transformation really is the right word to use and I am hugely proud of our students who have been such a credit to the school this evening. I would also like to thank all the staff here, who are so dedicated to ensuring that our students have the very best chance of progressing successfully and indeed, making a positive contribution to society.”

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