Students and teachers came together today to celebrate the official opening of the new Special Education Needs and Disability Unit at Chantry Academy. The project team, alongside representatives from the school, The Active Learning Trust, Suffolk County Council and SENDAT took part in cutting the ribbon to mark the occasion. The new “Peile Unit” has been named in memory of former CEO of Active Learning Trust Gary Peile, who sadly passed away.
The new standalone building consists of two new classrooms and is already starting to make a difference to children’s lives within the local community.
Alongside the opening of the SEND building, the event marked the topping out stage of the expansion. The new two-storey building will provide the school with additional classrooms, together with a new library, circulation space, and toilets. The scheme will also see remodelling to the existing school, providing additional specialist teaching spaces and extended dining facilities.
Craig D’Cunha, Acting CEO of The Active Learning Trust, said “We are delighted that the new unit is officially open. The design and facilities are fantastic and will provide significant benefits to our current and future students along with the wider Ipswich community.
“At Chantry Academy we want every child to be successful and believe there should be no barriers when it comes to learning. The new expansion work will undoubtedly help achieve this, and ensure our students can become active, confident, and responsible citizens within society.”
Rachel Hood, Cabinet Member for Education, SEND and Skills at Suffolk County Council, commented, “It is inspiring to see the completed unit and the progress being made on the expansion. It will make such a difference to young people at the school. We are committed to increasing the number of SEND placements in Suffolk and ensuring that we provide the very best education for all our children and young people.”
Charles Coulson, Associate Director at Concertus, said, “We are pleased to be able to celebrate two fantastic milestones at Chantry Academy. The expansion, along with the specialist teaching block, will provide high quality learning environment for the children. We look forward to seeing the project progress into its final stages.”
Steve Holt, Head of Operations and Framework Manager at Morgan Sindall Construction in the Eastern Counties, said: “The opening and topping out ceremony at Chantry Academy was a great opportunity to reflect on the incredible benefits this facility provides for the local community and to look forward to the additional social value that it will deliver when the expansion project is complete. It’s been very rewarding to work collaboratively alongside Chantry Academy, Suffolk County Council and Concertus, bringing our experience in creating inclusive, high-quality educational environments to the project.”
Hard and soft landscaping works will also commence in the coming months in readiness for the official opening of the two-storey expansion in Autumn 2022.