Primary school set to open as new academy

S33052H13 Major construction work at the Southwick site for the new Eastbrook Academy
S33052H13 Major construction work at the Southwick site for the new Eastbrook Academy

THE new Eastbrook Academy will be opening its doors on September 9.

The former Eastbrook Primary School sites, in Manor Hall Road, Southwick, and Gardner Road, Fishersgate, will combine under the same banner.

Sponsored by the REAch2 Academy Trust, the school will be led by new head, Mrs Julia Sherlock.

Gary Bennell, associate headteacher at the trust, has been working extensively with the school over the last academic year.

Building work has been ongoing over the last year, ready for the new school term, when all the equipment will be moved from the infant site.

The new building includes six classrooms with covered external play areas, a library, staffroom an ampitheatre.

Unwanted tables and chairs from the Gardner Road site have already been donated to the new Fishersgate Centre.

Fishersgate Community Association chairman Peter Averillo said they would be used in the new computer room at the centre.

The current school governing body is officially disbanded on Saturday and a new body, including two parent governors, will be voted in during September.

Head teacher Pippa Bird said in a letter to parents: “I am very sad to leave as I will miss all your lovely children, but I will be leaving the school in a much better position than when I amalgamated it in 2008 and now it will re-open as a new academy for you all.

“I wish my successor, Mrs Julia Sherlock and her team and Reach2, all the very best and every success for the future.”

The school remains in special measures following an Ofsted inspection in June but governors say it is ‘in good shape’ as it becomes an academy.

Three of the governors, including chairman Louise Askew, met with the inspector, Patricia Metham, to assure her of the smooth transition to an academy and she seemed satisfied with their vision.

Mrs Metham said: “Having considered all the evidence I am of the opinion that at this time the school is making reasonable progress towards the removal of special measures.

“Newly-qualified teachers may be appointed, provided that each is mentored by a member of the senior leadership team.”