Bromley Town Councillors Julie Ireland and Sam Webber recently met with senior leaders at the Bromley Beacon Academy in Old Homesdale Road, Bromley. They heard about the work the school is doing with young people with Social, Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH) needs and had a tour of their refurbished building. It was a really informative visit, the Lib Dem team enjoyed meeting some of the staff and students and were impressed by the work that's being done here.
The Academy is part of the London South-East Academies Trust, a Multi-Academy Trust with a network of Mainstream, Special and Alternative Provision schools across London, Kent and Surrey. Bromley Beacon is currently situated across three different sites in the borough, with other Academies in Orpington and St Paul's Cray. The Old Homesdale Road building recently underwent a £3.6million refit and now has 88 students and 45 staff. It was previously called the Springboard Centre.
The Bromley site offers Key Stage 4 and 5 (Year 9 -13) provision for young people with Social, Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH) needs. In addition to classroom learning, students have vocational opportunities such as training to be a barista, to learn how to fix motorbikes in a fully equipped work shop and many students go on to careers in construction, plumbing or engineering. Where appropriate students can obtain the necessary Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card so they can work on building sites and develop careers in construction.
During the visit we discussed some traffic issues which have been raised by local residents, due the high number of Academy students who are dropped off and collected each day by taxi. This is for students who aren't able to travel independently and some days there can be up to 40 taxis visiting the school. The school have been working with the local neighbours and making improvements all the time so they can resolve any problems, including some staggered start and finish times. They reported that in general the local community have been really supportive of the school and their students, understanding the value of the work they're doing and the impact they have on students' lives.