MO MOWLAM ACADEMY: School named after former MP now fully open
A new school named after a popular former MP has fully opened its doors to children across Redcar and Cleveland.
The Mo Mowlam Academy, in Corporation Road, Redcar, will provide for up to a hundred primary and secondary school-aged children with special educational needs or disabilities.
Funding for the multi-million pound facility has come from the Department for Education and Redcar and Cleveland Council.
The Horizons Trust, which will operate the new school, paid for specialised doors, tinted glass, interactive soft play and sensory areas, new furniture, computer equipment and CCTV.
The Mo Mowlam Academy replaces the Pathways school, in Grangetown.
Because of the limited capacity at Pathways more than 30 children with specialist needs living in the area had to be previously educated further afield.
State-of-the-art teaching spaces have been created along with specialist classrooms, a large hall and a multi-use games facility outside.
Marjorie “Mo” Mowlam was the MP for Redcar from 1987 to 2001 and served in the Government as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, playing a key role in peace talks which led to the Good Friday Agreement.
She died in 2005 aged 55 after suffering from a brain tumour.
Councillor Alison Barnes, cabinet member for children at the council, said: “This is a crucial development which will immediately improve the lives of children in our borough, especially those who previously had to travel some distance to get to school.
“It will also have a positive impact for many years to come.”
School principal Rachel Glover said: “This will directly help children and families for decades to come – it is very exciting.
“We look forward to working with all our partners and the community.”
Mark Gardham, regional director at Tilbury Douglas Construction, which delivered the new school, added: “We have been very proud to work on this project, which will provide greatly improved specialist facilities for students and an enhanced learning environment.”
Last month Redcar and Cleveland Council signed off a £2.7m expansion for Kirkleatham Hall School which will provide an extra 12 places for youngsters with special educational needs or disabilities.
‘It’s a transformation for him’
A family has described how their son has adapted “fantastically well” to moving to the new Mo Mowlam Academy School.
Dean and Wayne Downey, of Redcar, said their 12-year-old son, Kenzie, had ADHD and attachment disturbance issues.
Dean said: “It was traumatic for him going to his old, mainstream school before.”
He added: “We have an excellent relationship with the staff here.
“This new school is great for all the children and families and it will mean more can stay here, in the borough.”
Wayne said: “It has been a transformation for Kenzie, he’s a different, happier boy.
“We can’t get him out of school now, he loves it so much.
“He has taken to the new building fantastically well too, which is brilliant.”
Kenzie said: “I love it here.”
Words: Stuart Arnold, Local Democracy Reporter
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