Education Secretary Justine Greening today (Thursday 26 October) visited Oakwood High School in Rotherham, the comprehensive secondary school she attended as a pupil in the 1980s, for the official opening of its new, state-of-the-art buildings.
The school has undergone a £12.2 million refurbishment as part of the government’s Priority School Building Programme, which is focused on rebuilding and revamping school premises. The new facilities at Oakwood High include specialist science, art and music rooms, a large gymnasium, and a separate dining hall – all under one roof.
The Education Secretary was given a tour of the school by current pupils and by former teachers Richard Townsend and John Bingham, who taught at Oakwood High during her time as a pupil at the school.
Education Secretary Justine Greening said:
Returning to Oakwood High School was incredibly special to me. I had amazing teachers here who inspired me.
I want every young person to be able to reach their full potential and great teachers are at the heart of that. It’s great to be back in Rotherham and to see Oakwood High helping raise the aspirations of new generations of young people from the area, making sure they have the skills and knowledge to achieve their goals.
Oakwood High School Headteacher David Naisbitt said:
We understand that children and young people need positive role models. Here in Rotherham, our young people need to see that opportunity does not lie beyond their grasp – it rests firmly within the realm of their possibilities.
There is no better example of what can be achieved than the Secretary of State; a local girl, educated in her local community.
The new school building will act as a beacon and stands as a clear statement to this community of the value of education.