School hit by flash floods is back in business

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Pupils with autism spectrum condition are now able to benefit from specialist new facilities at Ardley Hill Academy, in Lowther Road, Dunstable.

It will cater for up to eight pupils from across 15 wards in the south and west of Central Bedfordshire.

The teaching space and other facilities including a multisensory room, meeting and intervention room were officially opened on Monday with parents, children and other invited guests having the chance to look around and speak with staff.

The new facilities, which are integrated with the main school building, replace the six places that were previously at Streetfield Middle School, before it closed in the summer.

At the same time an extension to the pre-school was built. This extension enables the academy to provide two large, purpose built and well-resourced rooms; one for two year olds and one for three and four year olds.

Both projects were funded by Central Bedfordshire Council and delivered by the academy.

The academy has also made the most of the work onsite to provide a permanent home for its ever-growing before and after-school care in the form of a new building specifically for the club.

And following the dramatic floods of three months ago the academy has been completely redecorated and recarpeted throughout.

Mayor of Dunstable Peter Hollick officially reopened the whole site where parents and children were able to have their first look around a building which has been closed for three months.

Headteacher Jonathan Smith said: “This has been a challenging time for all. Staff, parents and children have been determined, flexible and supportive throughout enabling us to open on time against all the odds. I couldn’t be prouder of my academy and what we have achieved. The facilities here are now second to none and provide a fantastic learning environment for the whole community.

“What has really struck me is the human spirit that I have seen over this difficult period of time. I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has been involved as a parent, member of staff, local contractor, volunteers and of course the children whom have remained upbeat and positive throughout.

“They deserve their new academy.”