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Sunderland school to move to new ‘life-changing’ facility after £ 13million investment UK News

A Sunderland school will move to a custom-built facility after city council approves plans for a new building.

Sunningdale Primary School will receive a £ 13million investment from Sunderland City Council as part of a £ 35million capital program for the construction of new and refurbished school buildings for supporting the city’s next generation.

James Waller, who was appointed manager earlier this year, said the move to a new, custom-built facility in Doxford Park Way would “be life-changing.”

The principal also said the plans “will transform opportunities” for the city’s most vulnerable young people and represent an exciting new chapter for the school.

Sunningdale, which caters to children aged 2 to 11 with severe and profound multiple learning difficulties, is currently based in the old and restrictive Springwell Infant School.

It has been adapted over the years to better meet the specific needs of the children of Sunningdale, the school working tirelessly to give its children the right spaces and facilities.

However, the move to the new building will provide specialized rooms and equipment for up to 136 children, as well as enough space for wheelchairs and equipment the children need, which was difficult in its installation. current.

James said: “The fact that the board earmarked our school for investments was absolutely overwhelming.

“Our children have increasingly complex needs. It is absolutely wonderful to be able to provide them with the life changing experiences that we offer them in school, but it is not without challenges when we are working in an old building that just is not able to meet the needs. more and more diverse of our children.

“It would be hard to overstate the difference the investment in Sunningdale will make to the care and support we can provide to the children who so deserve it.

“Very often schools like ours – of which there are about 500 across the country – are overlooked when it comes to national policy making and investment.

“We have always felt supported by the board, but we are absolutely thrilled that they have made a commitment that will transform the way we can meet the needs of our children.

“This is a huge statement of support from Sunderland City Council, not only for Sunningdale but also for the city’s most vulnerable children.”

What has been most impressive for James is how far the board has come with the school leadership team in shaping the plans and designs for the building.

He said: “When the council first came out and told us about their plans, our jaws hit the ground. And working with them – seeing how they listened and responded to the things we asked – has been just amazing.

“We looked at the needs of the students together, thinking about specific spaces, uses and facilities – and things to avoid.

“The new school will feature a range of features, including wide hallways and hallways to ensure the entire building is wheelchair accessible; elevators that can help some of the less mobile children access spaces they could. otherwise not be able; a hydrotherapy pool, with an easily controlled temperature; multisensory spaces where the school can provide light therapy; physiotherapy rooms and a dedicated rebound therapy room, where we use trampolines to help the children to feel weightless and to move their body in different ways.

“We will have a number of outdoor spaces, including grass playgrounds, alongside a swamp area, nature trail, and habitat area.”

The school currently employs 100 staff – teachers, teaching assistants, therapists and babysitters and hopes to add to its team as it increases its capacity.

School children have a combination of cognitive and physical disabilities – often both – requiring specialized support to enable them to reach their potential.

The school is recognized as an example, working with the University of Northumbria as a provider of specialist training courses and sometimes contributing to national specialist training initiatives.

James believes the new building will provide a facility that matches the high level of education, care and support staff are able to provide.

He said, “Our goal is to help our students ‘be more’ – be it more creative or more communicative. We want every young person to realize their potential, providing them with individualized support to enable them to achieve their aspirations.

“Being more” sums up what we are trying to accomplish. And we do it every day, despite the building we find ourselves in, for which we have a real fondness, but recognize that it is no longer suited to our purpose.

Sunningdale School, Springwell, Sunderland

“The new building will allow us to take the support and education we provide to the next level.

“This marks a new era for the school. Although I went to Sunningdale…

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This notice was published: 2021-05-19 05:00:00