New primary school takes shape

The new primary school on Baron Road will be complete for summer.

The new primary school on Baron Road will be complete for summer.

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THE building is up, and Blackpool’s newest primary school is on track to accept its first learners later this year.

The Baron Road site in South Shore is looking more like a school by the day, and will open to two new reception classes this September.

The school, which will come under the remit of Westcliff Primary School Academy Trust, is already advertising for teaching staff.

Westcliff headteacher Susan Wilson said: “We’re certainly promoting the fact the school is there, it’s taking shape and really looking like a school, and it’s on track to be completed in the summer.

“The building itself is coming along, and is moving towards becoming a state of the art primary school.”

Though Westcliff, in Bispham, became an academy in 2011, Mrs Wilson said the school had not moved away from the local authority.

In fact, it is the partnership between the school and the council which has made the new school possible.

She said: “This is a unique collaboration between a local council and an academy to produce a fantastic new primary school, which a lot of people have identified as a positive thing.”

Coun Sarah Riding, Blackpool Council’s cabinet member for children’s services and education, agreed.

She said: “I think there is a lot of perception, some true and some false, around academies, and in Blackpool we have always had really close working relationships between the local authority and schools.

“Here we have built on that to respect and recognise how we can work together because we are really determined to do and be the best for our children.”

Coun Sarah Riding said the new building looked “fantastic”.

She added: “It looks like an actual school now, and it’s a lovely design. It’s a really good space for children to be learning as well as a focal point for the community.

“It’s very exciting, and we’re very pleased with how everything has gone.”

The Baron Road school, which will accept a new cohort of reception children each year, would be like a satellite school of Westcliff, with staff working across both sites.

Mrs Wilson added: “We hope that by linking the experience and expertise at Westcliff to the new site we can build on the ethos and excellent education we have in the north of Blackpool and take it to the south.

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