Multi-million pound Prudhoe school official opening

23 Nov 2016

The impressive new Prudhoe High School was officially opened on Tuesday 22nd  marking the start of an exciting new chapter of education at the school, which  was rated ‘good’ in a recent Ofsted inspection.

Yesterday, staff, governors, councillors and all those involved in the planning and building of the school, met for a tour of the facilities, to see the fantastic finished results.

The £12.5 million pound development, located on the existing school site on Moor Road, was funded by the Education Funding Agency following a successful bid from Northumberland County Council.

The single storey building, constructed by Sir Robert McAlpine, opened its doors in September in time for the new academic year providing a modern place of learning for over 800 students between 13-18 years of age. 

As well as general classrooms the school boasts state of the art facilities in Art, Music, Drama, Design Technology, ICT and Science.  There is a new four-court sports hall which Sport England put a £272,000 contribution towards and studio space. The tennis courts and 4G artificial pitch have also been resurfaced.

The sports facilities will be run by Active Northumberland (a charitable leisure and cultural trust that manages facilities on behalf of Northumberland County Council) and are available for use by for local community bookings in the evenings and at weekends.  Existing sports clubs will continue to be run at the school but Active Northumberland is looking to expand the offer to include badminton, dance and table tennis and tennis coaching.  

The old school is currently being demolished and the area it was situated on will be returned to playing fields and a car park.
The rebuild is part of the Government’s £4.4 billion Priority School Building Programme which is rebuilding or refurbishing school buildings across the country.

Head Teacher Deborah Reeman said:  “Our school provides a modern and stimulating learning environment for our students and it is a pleasure for staff to work in.

“We are all delighted to be in our new home. It may only have been a short distance physically for us to move, but the new surroundings are transformational and have made a huge difference to the daily lives of our school community.”

There has been another cause for celebration at the school as it received a ‘Good’ rating in recent Ofsted inspection.  The school received the rating across all key Ofsted categories: leadership and management; quality of teaching, learning and assessment; personal development, behaviour and welfare and pupils’ achievements.

“With our fantastic, hard working staff and our wonderful students, the future for our new school looks very bright.” added Deborah Reeman.

High school students in Alnwick and Bedlington have also moved into new schools and are benefitting from the very latest teaching facilities, thanks to the Priority School Building Programme. The council bridged the gap of £12.2 million between the state funding and the final costs, to invest in the young pupils’ future.

Northumberland County Councillor, Robert Arckless, cabinet member for children’s services said:

“Enhancing school infrastructure and working to deliver first class education is an important part of our commitment to our young people.   We currently have one of the UKs largest capital investment programmes in schools investing over £100million to create the best possible environment for our young people to learn.

“This is a truly impressive new school and a great setting for students of all ages to learn and develop. I am sure it has an exciting future. ”

Sport England’s property director, Charles Johnston, said:  “Sport England is pleased that the opening of Prudhoe High School’s newly refurbished four-court sports hall will ensure that a wide range of community sporting activity can continue in the area, and meet the increasing demand from Northumberland’s growing population.

“The partnership between Sport England, the Education Funding Agency and Northumberland County Council is unique and will have a huge impact on grassroots sport in the local area by developing existing sport activity.

“Through Sport England’s Access to Schools programme, the redevelopment of the school will safeguard the levels of people in community that want to get active. This is also part of Sport England’s long term commitment and ambition for everyone, regardless of their age, background or level of ability, to feel able to engage in physical activity.

“It is hoped that the new sports hall will inspire and encourage the pupils at Prudhoe High School, and people in the local community, to get active and connect with sport.

“It’s great to see Prudhoe High School join the long list of successful schools to benefit from this fund.”
 
Northumberland County Councillor and ward councillor Eileen Burt said: “I am delighted to be part of the official opening at Prudhoe Community High School. This fantastic, modern building replaces a school that was well past its sell by date and will allow our children to prosper and fulfil their potential.”