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Springwell Alternative Academy Spalding ready for pupils to start on January 9, 2020



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The head of a new school in Spalding for children and young people outside of mainstream education has described its completion as an "amazing feeling".

Phil Willott, executive principal of Springwell Alternative Academy Spalding, held his first staff meeting at the site in Matmore Gate just before Christmas when the keys to the new school were officially handed over.

The school, where 63 pupils aged four to 16 will be taught, was formerly South Holland Post 16 Centre and will officially open as Springwell's fourth site in Lincolnshire on Thursday, January 9, 2020.

Pupils and staff at the new Springwell Alternative Academy Spalding. Photo supplied by Jaktphotography. (24780052)
Pupils and staff at the new Springwell Alternative Academy Spalding. Photo supplied by Jaktphotography. (24780052)

Mr Willott said: "We had an event at the new site on December 12 when three young people came down with a few members of staff who had worked on a piece of artwork that went up in the reception area.

"It's an amazing feeling to have this space for the young people and the staff are running around to get everything sorted out, bearing in mind that we only moved in a week before Christmas.

"It's like moving into a really big house where you need to get every room set up so there's been an enforced closure of our temporary setting in Boston, allowing staff to get ready for our young people to start on January 9."

Students unveil artwork at the new Springwell Alternative Academy Spalding. Photo supplied by Jaktphotography (24780054)
Students unveil artwork at the new Springwell Alternative Academy Spalding. Photo supplied by Jaktphotography (24780054)

Springwell Alternative Academy Spalding, part of the South Yorkshire-based Wellspring Academy Trust, actually started educating children on April 1, using Carlton Road Children's Centre in Boston while the former Post 16 Centre was being redeveloped.

During a public meeting in Spalding in July, Mr Willott explained that some of the children taught by Springwell staff had previously suffered "severe trauma and extreme neglect" in their lives.

"These are young people who can achieve and because of the the good work that our staff have already been doing, they have come a long way while working at the temporary site," Mr Willott said.

"We want to show that our young people who, for one reason or another, mainstream education hasn't worked out have adults to champion them and serve as their advocates.

"The new building in Spalding, which those pupils who have seen it love, will help us to achieve that."

Mark Wilson, chief executive officer for Wellspring Academy Trust, said: "We are delighted to welcome Springwell Alternative Academy Spalding into our community of schools and, in doing so, extending our partnership with Lincolnshire County Council and the people of Lincolnshire."

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