A NEW era of specialist education in Cheshire has begun.

Conlon Construction has handed over the keys to Springfield School Wilmslow, a satellite of the special school in Crewe.

This new site forms part of Cheshire East Council’s ongoing commitment to increasing the number of specialist school spaces within the borough, creating up to 80 places for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities and forms

Cllr Carol Bulman, lead member for children and families, said: "I am absolutely delighted to see this school open and the first group of children enjoying their lessons.

"I’d like to thank everyone involved in the construction and delivery of this truly special school.

"A key priority for us has been to understand how many additional school places we will need for children and young people with SEND and for us to grow within that forecast.

"This will increase choice for families, reducing journey times and supporting pupils to be part of their local community.

"We have already made considerable capital investment into increasing school places having provided more than 230 new places in our special schools and resource provisions in the last five years."

Knutsford Guardian: Springfield School Wilmslow began welcoming pupils at the end of JanuarySpringfield School Wilmslow began welcoming pupils at the end of January (Image: Supplied)

Head of school, Kirsty Arthur, added: “The first two classes have settled into their new school exceptionally well and we look forward to gradually increasing numbers over the next 12 months.

“The Wilmslow community have been extremely welcoming, and we look forward to building relationships for the future.’’

Springfield School Wilmslow has been designed and built with special consideration for the access, safeguarding and sensory requirements of pupils aged four to 18.

A handover ceremony was held on Friday (February 16), with pupils given the honour of formally opening their new school.

This kickstarts a 'new era for learning', with the school focused on health, safety, achievement and entering the adult world with life and educational skills.

Darren Lee, commercial director at Conlon Construction, added: “Springfield School is a fitting showcase for our extensive education credentials.

"From early years to university, we have delivered modern, appealing, and sustainable education facilities across the region.

“With several SEND projects to our name, we have a vast understanding of the needs and requirements of a school created for young people with additional needs and are proud of the environment we’ve created here in Wilmslow.

"It was a pleasure to hand it over to excited and ambitious new pupils and teachers.”

Knutsford Guardian: A handover ceremony was held on February 16A handover ceremony was held on February 16 (Image: Supplied)

Lisa Hodgkinson, head teacher at Springfield School, said: “We have been working closely with Cheshire East Council over a number of years to increase specialist places for children with cognition and learning difficulties at our site in Crewe. 

“We understand how much the provision is needed within Cheshire East to support young people and their families. Conlon Construction have been amazing to work with and really understood what we needed to ensure a safe and welcoming environment for our young people.”

Knutsford Guardian: The first pupils are now settling into life at Springfield School WilmslowThe first pupils are now settling into life at Springfield School Wilmslow (Image: Supplied)