New-look school fit for the 21st century
TEN years and £18million later, the refurbished North School in Ashford was finally unveiled last week.
The culmination of the project came last week with the offi- cial opening ceremony of the Essella Road school.
VIPs from across the county who gathered for the long awaited event were united in praise for the new-look school.
County council leader Cllr Paul Carter said that, as one of six schools in Kent built under the Government’s Private Finance Initiative, it showed the public and private sectors could work together successfully.
Cllr Mark Dance, KCC cabinet member for education, said the school now had great buildings, quality management and staff and the aspirations of head teacher Lesley Ellis to take them forward.
He said: “There are strong links with Hadlow College that will see major improvements on the farm site.
“We are training for the whole person, not just core subjects, as pupils need to be streetwise and employable.
“We have got to take this on and win the challenge and, with establishments like this, we will win.”
Ashford MP Damian Green said he had been hugely impressed after a whistle-stop tour of the classrooms.
Mr Green thanked the head, her staff and pupils for their commitment to teaching and learning over the past four years on a building site.
He said: “The school farm is a great asset and we all hope it will continue for many years to come”.
Before introducing former athletics and netball international Sue Campbell, who officially opened the new school, chair of Governors, Alison Monk, said it was a new beginning for young people to prepare for life and their careers.
Some of the new buildings