Installation has completed in just two weeks for a brand new, state-of-the-art 170-place special school outside Norwich.
Watch exclusive drone footage of how the installation unfolded here.
The school will be part of The Bridge Multi Academy Trust and will be for children with learning and cognition needs from ages four to 19, is in the village of Easton and will provide purpose-built facilities including a forest school area and a specialist autism unit.
Constructed offsite using Modern Methods of Construction (MMC), the school building took shape in lightning speed, with all 60 modules in place in just two weeks. The custom modules have been designed specifically for the Department for Education. They achieve better thermal performance and offer improved day light for the comfort of both pupils and teachers.
Built by Portakabin, the school was precision engineered in its manufacturing facility in York.
After starting on site in January, installation was completed in June and the project is on programme to complete in December 2022.
When the school opens it will have a growth plan with children admitted in a careful and planned way until it reaches capacity.
The completed site will include on-site staff and visitor parking, minibus and taxi drop-off points, sports pitches, a MUGA court, outdoor play areas, a forest school area and a productive garden.
This Norfolk special school is the first of many projects to be awarded to us on the DfE’s MMC1 framework. Our latest module development means we can offer modular schools with better learning environments thanks to larger windows, bigger classrooms and better thermal performance. Innovation in modular buildings continues to develop at pace and means we can provide a high quality and reliable alternative to traditional construction, something here at Portakabin we’re always excited to talk about!
Cllr Daniel Elmer, deputy cabinet member for Norfolk’s Children’s Services, said: “Making the case for this school to be delivered as part of the DfE’s free school programme has been a key part of Norfolk County Council’s £120 million SEND transformation programme.
“We pledged to deliver at least 500 new places in specialist provision and this school is a huge part of that work.
“We can’t wait to see the different it makes to the lives of dozens of children and young people with SEND and their families.”
Dr Penny Barratt, CEO, The Bridge London Trust comments: “We at The Bridge MAT are extremely excited to be working with Norfolk County Council and the Department for Education to develop this new school, The Bridge Easton. We are aware of the need for additional special school places and are really looking forward to opening this school in Norfolk.”
The planned opening date is January 2023.
All places will be commissioned and funded by Norfolk County Council. New admissions will be through a county admissions panel. No waiting lists are in operation at this time.
Find out more about admission to special schools and specialist colleges here.