Thursday, 18 March 2010

£28m BSF investment at Rodillian School to be officially opened

A £28m school built as part of the city’s Building Schools for the Future programme is to be officially opened this week.

Ed Balls MP, secretary of state for children, schools and families, will officially open Rodillian School tomorrow (Friday 19 March). He will meet pupils and staff and be shown first hand how the BSF investment has benefited education and experiences at the school.

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Media are invited to the official opening of Rodillian School by the secretary of state for children, schools and families, Ed Balls MP, from midday on Friday 19 March. Could all media report to the school’s reception on arrival. You will need to be at the school by 11:30am. The address is: Rodillian School, Longthorpe Lane, Lofthouse, Wakefield, WF3 3PS.
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The school first opened its new doors in September 2008, the first of five newly-built facilities delivered on time and on budget. The official opening was delayed until all the scheduled work on the school's outside areas had been completed and it could be opened by a high profile educational figure.

It also provides a rare opportunity to celebrate the impact the new school has had on the learning and aspirations of the pupils and give everyone a chance to reflect on the past 18 months in their new surroundings.

New facilities at Rodillian include a lecture theatre to help prepare pupils for higher education, a canopy-covered amphitheatre and two-storey library space with state-of-the-art ICT facilities. The school’s excellent sporting facilities include a gymnasium, dance studio, sports hall and an inclusive fitness suite and PE classrooms.

Councillor Richard Harker, executive board member for education at Leeds City Council, said:“Rodillian is a 21st century school providing young people with facilities and opportunities to help them achieve their full potential.

“This fantastic school is now in its second year. The impact on the whole community has been impressive and I am confident it will continue to go from strength to strength.”

Chris Edwards, chief executive of Education Leeds, said:
“Rodillian is the latest state-of-the-art school to highlight the brilliant learning environments that more and more young people in Leeds are benefiting from.

“The brilliant new facilities have boosted standards and aspirations at the school and will have a huge, positive impact on the future of hundreds of young people.

“Education Leeds is committed to providing the best education possible and these fantastic new schools, coupled with dedicated teaching staff, are helping to boost standards across the city.”

Andy Goulty, headteacher at Rodillian School, said:
“I am proud to be showing our fantastic new school to the secretary of state for education. We are now in the second year of benefiting from the new facilities which have already made a big difference to both staff and pupils.

“It is everything you would expect from a 21st century school. The buildings have a modern and professional feel to them and the impressive IT and performing arts equipment are really supporting our efforts to improve attendance and behaviour and raise standards across the school.”

ED Balls MP, secretary of state for children, schools and families, said:
“If we want to give every child a good start in life, then it’s crucial that young people have the best possible environment in which to learn, with facilities fit for the 21st century. That’s why we started ‘Building Schools for the Future’ - the biggest school building programme since Victorian times.

“I am delighted that young people here are getting the full benefit of this investment. The new building at Rodillian looks fantastic, and the rising standards at the school show the difference it has made to pupils and staff alike. Seeing these improvements – and the positive effect they have had on young people’s approach to school – I know we need to do all we can to keep protecting funding for our schools.”

Around 13,000 young people are now benefiting from BSF investment in the city’s secondary school and the programme of improvements has attracted other local authorities and cities from around the world to Leeds to learn from the work and award-winning partnerships.

The official opening will take place between 11am and 1pm and will involve performances and presentations from young people from Rodillian and its partner school, the South SILC.

ENDS

Notes to editors:

Leeds BSF schools are brilliant spaces designed for 21st century Learning and teaching, which provide:
 flexible and varied rooms and spaces, offering different environments for different styles of teaching and learning;
 purposefully designed for the curriculum of today and tomorrow;
 unprecedented levels of cutting-edge learning technology;
 bright, open and safe spaces designed with young people, to engage young people;
 fully inclusive facilities, giving every young person access to the learning, support and care they need;
 unique features reflecting the unique ethos of each school and the needs of the local young people, families and wider communities they serve;
 Exciting and innovative environments for highly effective leadership and teaching.

*Leeds BSF is delivered through the Leeds Local Education Partnership (LEP), which brings together Leeds City Council, Education Leeds, the government's Partnership for Schools (through Building Schools for the Future Investment), and the Interserve led consortium Environments 4 Learning (E4L).

Partnerships for Schools (PfS) is the delivery organisation for Building Schools for the Future. PfS was established in April 2004 as a Non-Departmental Public Body (NDPB), and is operated and funded under a joint venture between DCSF (formerly DfES) and Partnerships UK. PfS is a 100-strong organisation, with specialist expertise including educationalists, designers, ICT specialists, commercial managers and project management.

For media enquiries please contact:
Jon Crampton, Leeds City Council press office, 0113 3951577
Email: jon.crampton@leeds.gov.uk