Calls have grown to open a standard non-selective secondary school in Burnham after the previous one closed four years ago.

Parents, councillors and the local MP Joy Morrissey have backed a campaign to open a new school on Opendale Road, the site of the E-ACT Burnham Park Academy.

The school was closed by the Secretary of State in 2019 after Ofsted rated it ‘inadequate’ and the number of pupils decreased.

READ MORE: Burnham Grammar School rated 'good' by Ofsted

Saranjeet Saluja, a parent in Taplow, said: “The point is that here, there is not one local school. We used to have a school. We are not asking for a new school.”

The finance worker, 42, has a 10-year-old son Karman who is in Year 6 at St Nicolas’ Church of England Combined School in Taplow.

Saranjeet is not looking forward to his son potentially travelling to Maidenhead or Slough when he goes to secondary school next September, he told the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS).

He said: “I’d drive him every day but that would probably take 30-35 minutes each way in rush hour. That is one option. The second option is the school bus.

Bucks Free Press: Campaign for a new secondary school in Burnham

“That would cost me £100-150. We have to make our ends meet, with the cost of living crisis I would rather not pay this.”

After Burnham Park Academy closed, a working group from Burnham Parish Council lobbied Buckinghamshire Council to open a new school on the site.

The lack of a local school means some children are anxious about travelling out of Burnham to go to school, according to Carol Linton, the Vice-chair of Burnham Parish Council, who is on the steering group for the ‘Burnham Secondary School For All’ campaign.

She told the LDRS: “The children have these long journeys. They leave at 7:30am. They can’t stay for any after-school activities. Their friends live across a huge area so they can’t see their friends at weekends.

“There’s a mental health problem – the stress of travelling. If children are ill or disabled, they get over-tired and then have to take days off to recover.“A nervous 11-year-old can’t walk three miles down the A4 through the industrial estate around the edge of Slough.

“Siblings go to different schools. There was one family who had a child going southeast of Slough and the other to Maidenhead so the two children were 10 miles apart.”

The campaign group for a new non-selective school, which is in talks with Bucks Council, says that 70 per cent of children who do not pass the 11+ must travel out of Burnham to school.

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Burnham is the only place in Buckinghamshire to have a grammar school – Burnham Grammar School – but no corresponding non-selective secondary school.

Joy Morrissey, the Conservative MP for Beaconsfield, has also thrown her weight behind the campaign for a new school.

She told the LDRS: “I’m campaigning for a secondary school for the residents of Burnham and surrounding areas.

“The parents of Burnham want to have the choice to be able to send their child to a local comprehensive school that’s inclusive and welcoming to all students from every background.”

Another parent, Laura Swain, 41, told the LDRS that her Year 6 son may have to travel miles to secondary school even though the family lives just minutes from the old Burnham Park Academy site.

She said: “We are looking at all the Maidenhead schools and as far as Beaconsfield. The issue we’ve got is that most of the schools are oversubscribed.”

She added: “It is a real shame for the local community, you see the amount of children in the morning waiting at bus stops to be shipped out of Burnham. It doesn’t make sense.”