An exciting change is moving closer for pupils, staff and families at Lydgate School in Huddersfield.
Work is under way to create a new, specially-adapted base for the school, offering even greater support for local children with complex needs – it’s due to be completed in April 2017.
As part of Kirklees Council’s reorganisation of special schools, Lydgate is moving from New Mill to Almondbury so that pupils can enjoy vastly improved facilities.
The council is investing £4.9million to adapt the former Almondbury Junior School building in Southfield Road, which has been vacant for several months, and make it a modern, well-equipped school for children with disabilities and learning difficulties.
Indoor and outdoor facilities will include sensory rooms, cycle tracks, gardening and woodland areas.
Transition visits by the pupils will be during April to May 2017 with the school officially moving in during May half term – so when school reopens in the first week of June all the Lydgate pupils will have transferred to Almondbury.
In October 2016, School Governors Clare Bent and Jeanette Berrett, Mandy Cameron, Deputy Assistant Director Learning and Skills – Vulnerable Children and Groups, Councillor Masood Ahmed, Headteacher Nicky Rogers, and Deputy Head Paul Evans along with some Lydgate pupils had the chance to visit the construction site (picture attached).
Cllr Masood Ahmed, Cabinet member for Schools, said: “The council is absolutely committed to ensuring special school provision in Kirklees is best suited to the needs of pupils and families.
“We aim to provide high-quality care and education in settings where vulnerable children and young people feel safe, healthy and happy.
“Lydgate will have fantastic facilities and we have worked closely with the school and the building contractor PLP to make sure we deliver the best possible school.
“At a time when the council faces massive financial problems due to government cuts, we are proud to be investing in schools and enhancing young lives.”
Nicky Rogers, head teacher of Lydgate, said: “Moving to our new building will be a huge step forward for the school and we are all excited to see the progress being made.
“It is a chance to further improve the way we support our pupils and to help them fulfil their potential, including for many years into the future.
“The change will happen gradually so that our children and young people are completely comfortable with the transition to something new and different.
“Our school’s family atmosphere and caring ethos – which we all value so highly – will remain extremely strong.”
Lydgate has decided to change its name to Southgate School once the move is complete.
New starters will join the school from September 2017 which will be able to accommodate 164 pupils with complex needs, in total.