Comedian Rory Bremner opens new Sunderland special school

Comedian Rory Bremner officially's opens Ashbrooke School.  From left Witherslack Group CE Phil Jones,  headteacher Derek Cogill and Rory
Comedian Rory Bremner officially's opens Ashbrooke School. From left Witherslack Group CE Phil Jones, headteacher Derek Cogill and Rory
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Sunderland’s newest school for children with special needs was officially opened by Rory Bremner.

The comedian came to Sunderland to launch Ashbrooke School, an independent school catering for children with special needs, including autism and ADHD.

Comedian Rory Bremner officially's opens Ashbrooke School
Pupil Jessica Kennedy's poem

Comedian Rory Bremner officially's opens Ashbrooke School Pupil Jessica Kennedy's poem

Visitors from across the surrounding area, including the Deputy Mayor of Sunderland, Coun Lynda Scanlan, went along to the school to see the fantastic building and facilities it has to offer the young people.

Comedian and impressionist, Rory Bremner, gave an inspiring talk about his own journey with ADHD. Rory is also a patron for the ADHD Foundation.

Headteacher, Derek Cogle, spoke about the life changing work and support given by the school and a pupil, Jessica Kennedy, wrote a moving poem about her time at Ashbrooke, which she bravely read out in front of all the guests.

Mr Cogle, said: “The opening was a fantastic day for our school and I couldn’t have been more proud of all our staff and pupils for their hard work in making it such a success.

Rory was an inspiring speaker and had many words of encouragement

Derek Cogle

“It was a great opportunity to showcase Ashbrooke and all the wonderful work and experiences that have taken place since we welcomed our first pupil earlier this year.

“Rory was an inspiring speaker and had many words of encouragement for anyone living with ADHD.”

Ashbrooke School’s ethos is one of high aspiration and achievement for every young person and provides high quality education for pupils between the ages of five and 18.

The school supports a diverse group of young people who have a range of complex educational needs, communication difficulties and challenging behaviours.

Comedian Rory Bremner officially's opens Ashbrooke School

Comedian Rory Bremner officially's opens Ashbrooke School

The former Sunderland High School Junior site in Ashbrooke Road, was taken over by the Witherslack Group to create the new school.

The group is one of the leading providers of specialist education and care for children and young people with Special Educational Needs.

Ashbrooke School opened earlier this year, following some re-development and upgrading of the existing building, with a very small cohort of children and will continue to grow.

It offers state of the art educational resources and facilities and class sizes are usually about seven children in each.

Once it is running to capacity it is anticipated the school will create around 50 new jobs, including teachers, therapists, teaching assistants, a pastoral team and support staff.