Special school gets helping paw from EJ

Headteacher Jackie Sumner with pupils Hope Pitt (9) and Ryan Hasker (10) in The Aviary classroom.''Picture: Sarah Standing (141308-3769) PPP-140105-152848001
Headteacher Jackie Sumner with pupils Hope Pitt (9) and Ryan Hasker (10) in The Aviary classroom.''Picture: Sarah Standing (141308-3769) PPP-140105-152848001
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STAFF and children have been celebrating the opening of their £2m new classrooms at a special school.

Rachel Madocks School in Cowplain caters for children with special needs from the ages of two to 19.

Over the past few years the school has found itself running out of space, and eventually secured funding to build some new classrooms.

Allen Parton, an injured Gulf War veteran who set up the charity Hounds for Heroes, officially opened the new facilities with his dog EJ.

He said: ‘To have these new facilities is just about as good as it gets.

‘These children and their supporting team are going to be given every opportunity to achieve in life.

‘I was nearly robbed of it all and now I value every bit, but today I have just been so inspired to witness some amazing struggles against everything. I have just been reminded of just how lucky I am.

‘Everyone in this room, today is going to witness how lucky these children are and it’s amazing to be a part of that, in any small way.

‘It doesn’t end when we leave today, the struggle for some young people goes on forever, and this is incredible.

‘On behalf of someone who came to disability later on in life, thank you for the faith, the support and certainly to the staff and the pupils – you should be really proud of what you achieved.

Guests were invited into the school for an opening ceremony.

Jackie Sumner is headteacher at the school.

She said: ‘We need a lot of space because of the needs of the children.

‘We needed some flexible working areas for the children to give them the opportunities that they wouldn’t have in an ordinary mainstream school.

‘We are proud we have all worked together to get something that gives the children more opportunities.’

The classrooms will be used for drama, science, sports and for assemblies.

The rooms can also be split into two to allow different classes to take place.