Official opening for £4m special school expansion

A City special school will officially open its new £4m expansion on 2 October – increasing its provision for children with special educational needs from 45 permanent places to 120 places.

New classrooms, offices and play facilities have been created at Westbury Academy in Chingford Road, Bilborough, which caters for primary and secondary age pupils.

Work started earlier in the summer to get the buildings ready for the new academic year.

The expansion is part of the City Council’s ambitious plan to increase the number of school places in Nottingham, with £42m invested since 2009 to provide 5,000 additional primary places once all year groups are full by 2022.

A special ribbon-cutting ceremony and plaque-unveiling will be held at Westbury with Cllr Neghat Khan, Portfolio Holder for Education and Skills in Nottingham, to mark the official opening.

Marcus Wells, Principal of Westbury Academy, said: “Our school continues to make a difference to our pupils and I am very proud to see the recognition that we are receiving for this through the commitment of the council in funding this development. We’re really excited by this expansion at Westbury and the opportunity it gives to pupils in Nottingham City. Increasing capacity from 45 permanent places to 120 places means more parents can access this specialist provision.”

Councillor Khan added: “When we started out on this expansion programme, it was essential to make sure that top-class facilities are made available to all pupils in Nottingham, including those with special educational needs and disabilities.

“As well as extending current special schools, we are working to introduce further specialist provision within mainstream schools in the City to support those parents who want more options available to them.”

Wates Construction carried out the building work over the summer term and school holidays. The project was commissioned by Nottingham City Council and procured through the empa framework, since superseded by the Regional Construction framework, which is managed by Scape Group.

John Carlin, Business Unit Director at Wates Construction, said: “The Wates team has thoroughly enjoyed delivering this important expansion project at Westbury School and getting to know the students and teachers throughout the build has been a really rewarding experience.

“This is the latest in a number of educational projects Wates has worked on in Nottingham, and we’re proud to have played a tangible role in supporting the need for increased places across the city.”

Victoria Brambini, Managing Director at Scape Procure, said: “We’re proud to be delivering projects that mean so much more to the local community than just providing extra school places. The new facilities at Westbury will better support the needs of its pupils, offering improved accessibility and increased opportunities for local children, which is much-needed in Nottingham and throughout the UK.”

Two further expansions are planned for Nottingham as part of the programme:

  • Glade Hill Primary School in Bestwood, which will have 210 additional primary places by September 2019, following investment of £1.8m
  • Middleton Primary School in Wollaton, which has also been worked on by Wates Construction, will have 210 additional primary places by December 2019, following investment of £4.1m

Cllr Khan added: “Our ambition remains to ensure that all pupils in Nottingham attend a good school, close to home and our on-going expansion strategy means that we are creating more places to achieve this goal.”

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