New £3 million education facility for vulnerable pupils opens its doors
Pupils and staff at a purpose-built school for vulnerable young people in Somerset celebrated its official opening this week.
Work on the new £3 million Tor School, a Pupil Referral Unit and Medical Tuition Centre in Glastonbury, was completed earlier this year and it is now fully operational.
Pupils and staff welcomed visitors for a special open day, taking the opportunity to show off artwork by young people and the state-of-the-art facilities.
The 12-classroom facility at the former Mendip Centre site in Beckery New Road provides support for 80 pupils at Key Stage 2, 3 and 4 and brings together services previously delivered in three different places.
The project heralds a major change in education provision for vulnerable children and young people in the Mendip, by bringing the service together in an attractive, high-spec learning environment.
The building has been sensitively designed to meet the needs of pupils, offering a variety of spaces in which to support young people.
Councillor Frances Nicholson, Cabinet Member for Children and Families, said: “The new Tor School has enormous potential to support vulnerable young people to make the most of their time at school and achieve their potential.
“The Council is committed to ensuring timely and life-enhancing support for children, in line with objectives identified in the County’s Children and Young People’s Plan, and the new and innovative building will play a vital part in helping to ensure a brighter future for children who attend the Tor School.”
Head Teacher at Tor School Tony Sammon said: “This gives us an amazing opportunity to redefine how we work with some of Mendip’s most vulnerable young people, get them back on track and change lives.
“When they arrive here from other schools they have been excluded from, young people can often feel disenfranchised from education.
“This building has been designed to be warm, welcoming and inclusive. This project has been really joined up from the very start and we have felt part of the design team.
“We want Tor school to become a community hub for working with young people and families who may have Social Emotional or Mental Health Needs.”
Derek Quinn, Executive Director for Midas Construction, said: “We are delighted to be delivering an important and high-quality facility for pupils, staff and the local community.
“We have worked closely with the Council and school staff to ensure the building provides an attractive and sensitive learning environment, with access to innovatively designed breakout spaces and landscaped external areas.”
The project involved the demolition of existing school buildings on the Mendip Centre site.