Abraham Darby Learning Community opens to academy pupils

Abraham Darby Sport and Learning Community
Image caption Principal Steve Hawke said mentors would help pupils find their way around the new school

Pupils and staff have moved into a new £35m Shropshire school after building was delayed by a canopy collapse which injured five construction workers.

Work on Telford's Abraham Darby Sport and Learning Community started in May 2010, as part of Telford's £200m Building Schools for the Future scheme.

Last year construction on the academy building was halted after the collapse.

More than 1,000 secondary and sixth form pupils have now moved into the state-of-the art facility.

They follow children from Woodlands Primary School, who moved onto the site in January, to create a through-school for pupils aged four to 18.

The site also features community sports and leisure facilities.

Steve Hawke, Principal of the Abraham Darby Academy, said the new building felt more like a higher education campus than a school.

He said: "It's a 21st Century school for 21st Century young people.

"It's about raising aspirations for the youngsters. It's about saying to them, 'what we do here is very special, it's very important and we're going to give you a very special environment to do it'."

Mr Hawke said the learning community had been in many respects a "guinea pig" for Telford and Wrekin's school building project.

Despite being a "long journey" and "problematic" at times, he said the new building would help inspire pupils

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