New home for Ipswich school

A FOUR-year dream has been realised today after a groundbreaking initiative to relocate an Ipswich special school was completed.

A FOUR-year dream has been realised today after a groundbreaking initiative to relocate an Ipswich special school was completed.

During the winter break, Thomas Wolsey School moved from its former home in Old Norwich Road to a new state-of-the-art facility at Thurleston High in Defoe Road.

While the schools have enjoyed close working ties for several years, the half-mile geographical boundary had proved a frustrating obstacle.

However, the two institutions are now operating from the same site after students moved to the new building earlier this month.


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The physical link-up between Thomas Wolsey and Thurleston, which was first mooted four years ago, is a national flagship and will be used as a blueprint for other collaborations elsewhere in the UK.

Thomas Wolsey deputy head Matthew Brakenbury said: “We had an existing partnership but the half-mile distance between the schools was a real hindrance.

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“Being on the same site as Thurleston means we are now fully inclusive.

“The move also raises awareness of our students and allows us to share resources with Thurleston. It's a win-win.”

Built in the 1930s, Thomas Wolsey's former base was originally used as a hospital.

While staff and students were fond of the building, its design was not always conducive to teaching children with special education needs.

However, the new building boasts wider corridors, bigger classrooms and cutting edge technology, including a sensory studio, a gym, adjustable interactive white boards and a swimming pool.

Mr Brakenbury said: “The old school was fantastic but we had outgrown it. Now we have a 21st century building for 21st century students.”

Is your child a pupil at Thurleston or Thomas Wolsey? What do you think of the new school? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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