Building work starts ahead of Ipswich school's 150 place expansion

Students and staff break ground on an expansion to Chantry Academy, on Mallard Way, Ipswich

Students and staff break ground on an expansion to Chantry Academy, on Mallard Way - Credit: Active Learning Trust

Staff and students helped to break ground as building work started at Chantry Academy ahead of a significant expansion in pupil numbers.

The expansion of the school on Mallard Way is being carried out as demand for secondary places in the area grows. 

Phase one of the project involves building a brand new single story block for special educational needs and disabilities, while phase two is the creation of a two story block, which includes 11 classrooms and a library. 

Stephen Chamberlain, chief executive of The Active Learning Trust which runs the school, said: “On behalf of the whole Trust, we are delighted that work has started to extend and develop Chantry Academy.

"The design and facilities are fantastic and will provide significant benefits to our current and future students along with the wider Ipswich community.

“At The Active Learning Trust, 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.”

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The project will expand the school, which is led by Executive Principal Craig D’Cunha, from 900 places to 1,050 places and provide an additional 18 places in the SEND unit.

The work is being carried out by construction firm Morgan Sindall on behalf of Concertus Design and Property Consultants, and Suffolk County Council.

Charles Coulson, associate director at Concertus, said: “We are pleased to be working with Morgan Sindall for Suffolk County Council on the expansion and the new SEND unit 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.”

Commenting on phase one of the project, Rachel Hood, cabinet member for Education, SEND and Skills at Suffolk County Council, said: “It is wonderful to see the progress being made at the new SEND unit. It will make such a different to young people at the school.

"I am committed to increasing the number of SEND placements in Suffolk and ensuring that we provide the very best education for all of our children and young people.”

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