The first ever special free school in Haverhill and Suffolk was officially opened by Lord Nash, the Under Secretary of State for Schools, last week.
Joined by West Suffolk MP Matthew Hancock and other invited guests, Lord Nash opened Churchill School in Chalkstone Way, one of just eight such schools in the country, on Friday (2).
The school opened last September and was created in response to a need expressed by parents and others for a special school in the Haverhill area that could specifically serve children, including those on the autism spectrum, who have communication, speech and language difficulties.
Before Lord Nash pulled the cord to reveal a plaque commemorating the opening, Howard Lay, the executive principle of the Samuel Ward Multi Academy Trust, said: ““We are opening a new school,it doesn’t happen very often and it’s particularly special because of the type of school it is.
“I am honestly so humbled by the amount of support that Churchill has gained over the last few years and all those partners coming together made something in a year, a vision realised from nothing, to this.
“That’s an amazing example of national government and local communities working together to deliver best things for the people of the area.”
Lord Nash said: “When we dreamt up the free school programme I never thought for one moment I would be standing here in a school as impressive as this.
“I know that everybody here has worked incredibly hard and a massive thank you for everything you have done.”
“It’s a fantastic example of turning thoughts into actions, which is really what education is all about.”
Mr Lay thanked Lord Nash, Mr Hancock, Suffolk County Council, St Edmundsbury Council, the Department for Education, the building company, Samuel Ward governors, staff at Churchill and Samuel Ward and local community, parents, feeder schools and the press for their support towards the project.