THE multimillion-pound reopening of a school, which was dogged by building delays, is set to happen in September 2016.
After years of uncertainty and red tape, Hetton School has been given “first school status” in the Government’s Priority Schools Building Programme.
It means the crumbling building will not only be redesigned and rebuilt, but will form a template for the rest of the rebuilding programme across the North East.
The announcement should end years of waiting by teachers who are working in often difficult and unsuitable conditions.
Houghton and Sunderland South MP Bridget Phillipson, who raised the school’s plight in Westminster, said: “The announcement by the Department for Education is an important step forward in a long campaign.”
Headteacher Phil Keay said: “We’re pleased that we have got this status as it means we are able to have some influence when it comes to the chosen contractor for the school, as well as some influence over the design of the building to meet the needs of all our pupils.”
Mr Keay added: “It looks like there is some hope on the horizon now.”