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Top-class start for new Tipton primary school

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Scores of pupils were welcomed into a brand new primary school in the Black Country this week.

Sacred Heart Primary School, which has been built off Sedgley Road East in Tipton, saw almost 200 pupils arrive on Monday morning following the Easter break.

It replaced the former school on Victoria Road – which was too small.

Now able to offer 420 primary places and 52 nursery places, the new build is expected to be full by 2022.

Council chiefs said the build came in a bid to meet the growing demand for school places in the borough.

Headteacher Melanie Gee spoke of her delight.

She said: "It's been amazing. The children started on Monday but we have been busy preparing for around three weeks now for the majority of the pupils to move in.

"The build process went smoothly and we feel really blessed that we were chosen for this fantastic opportunity.

"Before we had the smallest primary school in Sandwell and we were already outgrowing it anyway.

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"Now walking around the new school it just makes you think how we ever managed before. It is great that the children can now have 21st century education.

"The response so far is that they love it – the parents were saying how the children couldn't wait to get back to school after the Easter holidays, which is fantastic."

While work was being carried out, children were taught at the Grade II-listed Carnegie Building in Victoria Road. She continued: "It's been a hard experience for me but a joy that it has come together so well now.

"We are growing from reception up each year and we can't wait to see what the future holds."

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The school was designed and built by Sunesis – as a joint venture between Willmott Dixon and Scape Group. Tim Carey product director for Sunesis, said: "Seeing the positive reactions from the children and teachers was brilliant.

"As always with Sunesis the project was completed both on time and on budget, and it's great to know that the work we do will have such a positive impact on local children and the community."

Sue Moore, who is group head for education support services at Sandwell Council, said: "It was built incredibly quickly and to a fantastic standard.

"The children's eyes lit up and you could hear them saying 'wow' when they walked through the doors."

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