Work on a new special school in the county is now complete and this September the school has been welcoming its first pupils.
The new £9.5 million school, Brook Academy in Brockworth, Gloucester is built to accommodate up to 80 children and young people aged 11-16 years with social, emotional, and mental health (SEMH) needs, and also supports children with autism and speech, language and communication needs.
The specialist purpose-built building was completed on time by Gloucester firm, Carter – E G Carter & Co Ltd, in line with the council’s plan to address climate issues by implementing environmentally friendly measures, including solar panels on the roof of the school.
The building is also heated via a ground source heat pump and has electric vehicle charging points.
Pupils attending Brook Academy will have the same opportunities for learning as their peers in mainstream school as well as access to specialist facilities.
Young people attending the school will have on-site access to a vehicle workshop, hair and beauty salon, music recording studio, a BMX track and a construction workshop, where they can learn skills such as bricklaying, plastering, plumbing and electrics.
They will also have access to plenty of outdoor space including a full-size sports pitch and areas to spend some quiet time during breaks.
Cllr Philip Robinson, cabinet member for education, skills and bus transport at Gloucestershire County Council, said “I am delighted by the news that Brook Academy is now open and young people attending the school will be able to learn in an environment designed to meet their needs.
“Learning should be accessible for all young people, with equal opportunities for them to reach their full potential.
“It’s great to see a specialist school of this type is now open in Gloucestershire as part of the council’s wider plan to create more specialist school places in the county.
“I wish all the pupils starting this year well and hope they are enjoying the new facilities.”
Headteacher at Brook Academy, Robyn-Lee Gibb said “We are excited to welcome pupils into this fantastic new facility. Not only does the building provide excellent learning environments, but there are outstanding sporting and vocational spaces too.
The building is at leading edge of eco-technology, so we can teach and learn knowing that our school is designed with the future of the planet in mind.
“Our team is dedicated to creating educational opportunities for pupils so they can realise their full potential, and we can’t wait to get started.”
Thomas Jones, associate director at E G Carter & Co Ltd, said: “We have been extremely proud and lucky to have been appointed by Gloucestershire County Council to design and deliver the new Brook Academy School.
“The school, designed by Robothams Architects, will provide a much needed and fabulous facility for the pupils for many years to come. The building has such a wide range of facilities and features, and it is now great to see the students making use of them.”