Joy at new school opening in former Sunderland High School

Tonstall House.

Tonstall House.

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Parents, job seekers and wellwishers are overjoyed at the news of a new school opening up in Sunderland.

We reported how the Witherslack Group had taken over Tonstall House, once Sunderland High School's junior department, and would be reopening it as a place of learning.

Witherslack provides independent specialist education and care for children with special education needs, including youngsters with autism.

Related: New school to open in Sunderland creating 50 jobs
The news has been met with joy by parents and those hoping to work at the school, as well as people happy to see the High School building being put to good use as an education facility so soon.

Kimberley Zara Wilson said: "It's brilliant that Sunderland is getting another SEN (special educational needs) school, Sunningdale has a huge waiting list so this should get the kids into the right educational setting sooner!

"As an ex SHS pupil I'm happy the school will be used for education once more."

Rebecca Frost said: "Definitely! My daughter is lucky enough to have gotten a place at Sunningdale but I'm aware of meaning needing a place in specialist school and are having to attend mainstream due to lack of places."

Paula Cullen was one of the many parents left devastated when Sunderland High School made its shock closure announcement, which she said had "ripped" the school away from her children overnight.

"It is a stunning educational setting. That's why I chose this school for my children," she said.

"However I am very pleased that the building will be used for educational purposes & not housing. Good luck to them

Clare Berry said: "Pleased it's going to be referral by local authority,at least you know the children that need a place the most will get one."

Zoe Marshall Taylor said: "Definitely the best outcome but still sad it's gone."

Alexandra Birrell said: "I'm going to email them tomorrow and see if they can send me some information on the roles they're recruiting for."

Steph Maughan said: "This sounds amazing .. Just what Sunderland needs."