Gavin Williamson opens multimillion pound school extension

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson officially opened a £4.2 million extension to a school and said it would benefit generations of local youngsters.

The front of Nether Stowe School in Lichfield has been extended to provide a new reception, extra classroom space, science laboratories and a new sixth form area to cope with an increased demand for school places in the area.

A new sports hall is also nearing construction and Gavin Williamson visited the school to cut the ribbon and officially open the new block, before being given a tour of the new facilities, which are part of the Arthur Terry Learning Partnership.

Gavin Williamson enjoys a chat with Richard Gill, CEO at Arthur Terry Learning Partnership

Headteacher Glyn Langston-Jones introduced the minister to staff and students and gave him a glimpse inside the new sports hall before students were given the chance to ask questions about his work and his thoughts on education.

Mr Williamson said: “It was an incredible privilege to come to Nether Stowe and see the wonderful work that has been done and to hear how it has transformed the school and is already delivering real benefits.

“It just goes to show that this sort of capital investment can not only really change the feel of a school, but also provide an amazing boost to the staff and students, generating a sense of energy and excitement.

“This investment will deliver a benefit not just for the children here today but for generations upon generations of local children, whether that’s through the sport facilities, the science labs or the extra classroom space.

“It was lovely to be able sit down and talk to them as they had such an impressive range of questions, covering everything from mental health to next year’s exams and the length of the school day.

“It’s clear these are young people with a real enthusiasm for knowledge, and it was a real testament to the school that they had such brilliant questions, some of which were tough to answer."

Gavin Williamson meets Ged Carr, contracts manager at Novus
Gavin Williamson with headteacher Glyn Langston-Jones and Ged Carr, contracts manager at Novus, inside the new sports hall

Headteacher Glyn Langston-Jones said: “It was a unique and a pleasurable experience to have the Secretary of State for Education come into the school, and to share what we are doing at Nether Stowe with such a high profile and important figure.

“It allowed us to show off all the hard work that has been put into the new extension, the sports hall and the new facilities, as well as explaining the benefits the investment has brought to pupils and the wider community."

Contractors Novus began work on the new facilities last year on behalf of Staffordshire County Council and the Arthur Terry Learning Partnership.

Richard Gill, chief executive officer of the Arthur Terry Learning Partnership, said: “It was great to be able to show the Secretary of State around Nether Stowe, so that he could see the huge improvements that have been made and share the excitement that the investment has generated."

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