Schools success

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BARNSLEY’S new network of rebuilt secondaries has come a step closer to completion with the opening of two more schools.

Keys to the new Kirk Balk Community College and Penistone Grammar Advanced Learning Centre have been handed over to complete the first phase of the town’s Building Schools for the Future programme.

They follow Carlton, Dearne and Darton schools which were opened earlier this year.

The schools have larger class areas, leisure spaces and more traditional classroom styles. Top of the range ICT will allow new methods of learning – with wireless technology, interactive whiteboards and systems that will allow students to work together across the borough.

Kirk Balk is now the largest public building in Hoyland, creating a focal point at the centre of the community. It includes a construction work centre, including workshop, individual practical rooms and construction yard. There is also a drama studio, activity hall and sports hall including facilities for five a side football, basketball, indoor cricket and badminton.

The £32 million Penistone Grammar ALC, contains a hair and beauty salon, a dedicated post-16 and sixth form area, lecture theatre and fitness suite.

The second phase of the scheme will see the completion of Springwell and Greenacre schools later this summer.

Coun Linda Burgess, the Cabinet member for children and young people, said she was delighted with the new schools.

“The facilities they provide for our children and their families are second to none and will support the drive for excellence in teaching and learning in Barnsley,” she added.

Eventually 11 new schools will be built to replace every secondary in the borough, under the direction of the Barnsley Local Education Partnership.

“We are delighted to have handed over the keys to these fantastic new educational facilities,” said Stuart Wilkinson, the partnership’s general manager.

“This is another hugely important milestone.”