'Two fantastic milestones' for academy as new SEND build opens

Chantry Academy has confirmed a coronavirus case Picture: GREGG BROWN

Chantry Academy has opened its new SEND unit. - Credit: Gregg Brown

Students and teachers at an Ipswich academy came together to celebrate the official opening of its new space dedicated to pupils with special needs and disabilities. 

The Special Education Needs and Disability Unit at Chantry Academy is a joint project that provides the school with 11 additional classrooms, together with a new library, circulation space and toilets. 

The new two-storey building is called the Peile Unit after former CEO of Active Learning Trust, Gary Peile, who sadly passed away.   

Craig D’Cunha, the acting CEO of The Active Learning Trust, said “We are delighted that the new unit is officially open.

Craig D'Cunha, executive principal for Chantry Academy, said the Covid cases were inevitable. Pictur

Craig D'Cunha, executive principal for Chantry Academy, said the Covid cases were inevitable. Picture: ARCHANT LIBRARY

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

“At Chantry Academy 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 team, alongside with school representatives, The Active Learning Trust, Suffolk County Council and SENDAT, also celebrated the topping out stage of the expansion.     

The officials cut the ribbon to mark the occasion and open the unit. 

Rachel Hood, the Cabinet Member for education, SEND and Skills at Suffolk County Council, said: “It is inspiring to see the completed unit and the progress being made on the expansion.  

the Cabinet Member for education, SEND and Skills at Suffolk County Council

Rachel Hood, the Cabinet Member for education, SEND and Skills at Suffolk County Council - Credit: Archant

“It will make such a difference to young people at the school. We are committed to increasing the number of SEND placements in Suffolk and ensuring that we provide the very best education for all our children and young people.” 

Charles Coulson, the associate director at Concertus, said: “We are pleased to be able to celebrate two fantastic milestones 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 into its final stages."

Hard and soft landscaping works will also commence in the coming months in readiness for the official opening of the two-storey expansion in Autumn 2022. 

Chantry Academy has confirmed that a student at the school has tested positive for coronavirus. Picture: ARCHANT LIBRARY

Chantry Academy has confirmed that a student at the school has tested positive for coronavirus. Picture: ARCHANT LIBRARY - Credit: Gregg Brown