STAFF and students have been celebrating as a special school officially converted to an academy.
The Mary Rose Academy in Milton converted at the beginning of the month.
To mark the change, students took part in a celebration by parading around the school.
Paul Griffiths, from the Mary Rose Trust, was invited down to the school to formally open it.
The oldest and youngest pupils helped to officially welcome the school in as an academy and a plaque was unveiled, too.
Mary Rose Academy caters predominantly for pupils with severe and complex learning disabilities.
Headteacher Alison Beane said: ‘We aren’t intending to make any changes as far as the provision of the children is concerned. We have assured families they won’t see any physical difference.
‘It’s bringing increased freedom to the education of our children even further.’
Converting to an academy will also allow the school to work more closely with Cliffdale Primary School, which has also become an academy and will celebrate that next week.
‘It’s the freedom of the curriculum and the freedom to engage and involve a wider range of professionals and experts,’ said Mrs Beane.
‘The funding that we now receive gives us the flexibility to be more creative with how we develop both our staff and the provision for our children.’
Mrs Beane added it’s an exciting step forward for the school.
‘We can’t stand still. We need to move with the times,’ she said.
‘This is the way education appears to be going.
‘We need to embrace it and make it work for us. The staff seem very positive.
‘We have had no people raising any concerns.’
The pupils at Mary Rose took part in activities, including a celebration assembly and musical workshops.
As reported in The News, the school has recently been deemed outstanding in all categories by Ofsted.