A new free school is being proposed in Beckenham to “meet the demand” for school places.

Academy trust ‘Education for the 21st Century’, which runs The Ravensbourne School in Hayes Lane, Bromley, is set to submit an application this month to the Department of Education.

Headteacher of 12 years Paul Murphy, a member of the governing body behind the plans, said if the project is agreed the new school could open by 2016.

The 49-year-old said he feels the addition would benefit the borough and believes it would bring more options to parents.

He told News Shopper: “I think it brings choice and diversity for parents. The school would offer an extended day (8.30am-5.30pm).

“We know that the secondary school population is increasing significantly – especially in the north west of the borough.

“We’re going to submit the application in two weeks. Our website has been up for a few weeks and we’ve had a lot of interest”.

He added that since the free school was announced online the trust has received both positive and negative feedback from residents.

The prospective location of the school cannot currently be divulged, according to the headteacher, but would see 180 places per year and provide an education for children aged 11 to 18.

There would be a focus on ‘STEM’ subjects – science, technology, engineering, and maths – which backers say will “engage students” and optimise employability.

Residents have been invited to engage in the free school consultation, with two dates set for public discussion on Thursday April 24, and a week later on May 1.

Both run from 6-9pm and will take place at Beckenham Public Hall. Visit thebeckenhamacademy.info

Would you like to see a new free school in Beckenham? Let me know your thoughts on joshua.barrie@london.newsquest.co.uk / @joshbythesea