Tarleton Academy opens brand new school building as part of the Government School Rebuild Scheme

A secondary school near Preston has just opened a brand new state-of-the-art school, take a look inside...

Tarleton Academy on Hesketh Lane held an opening ceremony on Thursday, April 24, to celebrate the official opening of their new building.

Part of the Government School Rebuild Scheme, which is designed to upgrade educational facilities across England, Tarleton’s new building is one of the first to be completed in the Northwest and it is one of two schools in the country to have a new swimming pool installed as part of the scheme.

Able to house 750 children, the new school building comes with “state-of-the-art” classrooms, a “beautiful atrium”, an “amazing drama facility”, new dining facilities (including an outdoor dining area), and a brand new pool, which will also be used by local primary children.

The school is also net zero carbon in operation with solar panels installed on the roof, ground and air source heat pumps and fresh air ventilation throughout.

What does the school say?

Talking to the Post on its opening day, Lesley Gwinnett, CEO of Endeavour Learning Trust, and former headteacher of Tarleton said: “We needed a new school, the old school was pretty decrepit, but we've managed to do here is absolutely amazing, the staff and the kids are absolutely blown away with what we’ve got here in terms of this new school. We’re incredibly proud of it and I think what it does particularly is it is now a physical manifestation of the journey we’ve been on as a school to make sure we genuinely are at the heart of this community and [that we offer] amazing provision for our children, and we’re really proud today to open this school.

“Really importantly for me and our children particularly, this is the most environmentally friendly building that you can get, in terms of how we’re heating it, in terms of the lighting, so not only is it going to be a sustainable building in that sense, but it means moving forward, the massive costs we have in school through our energy, Tarleton is going to be spearheading ways of... get[ting] the bills down and those things are important as well so we can spend that money on the children.”

What does the school’s local MP say?

In a statement, Katherine Fletcher, who attended the official opening, said: “It was an honour and a privilege to be at the opening of this new school building and see in all its glory the £50 million investment that will transform education in Tarleton.

“It was really important that it was built too. I went to Westminster to show officials pictures of leaking roofs and failing structures to ensure money was forthcoming.

“What a great building for our young people who are so concerned about climate change. They will know the only gas used is for the Bunsen burners.

“The building’s green credentials, the geothermal pool and the fact it will all be used by the community after school is great news too.

“Many, many thanks to everyone who has worked so hard to guide this building to its official opening. It was quite emotional to see the culmination of all the hard work of the team lead so ably by Lesley Gwinnett, who is a local educational hero.”