New Sunderland school for students with challenges is already full

The new Beacon of Light School set to open in Sunderland is already full.

Friday, 12th August 2016, 10:48 am
Updated Friday, 12th August 2016, 12:39 pm
Newly-appointed staff at the Beacon of Light School. From left to right back row: Chris Frazer, Dave Hewson, Stuart Curry, Chris Roberts and Ian Kirby. Left to right front row: Lindsay Howells, Chris Gowland, Mike Redshaw, Principal Denise Taylor , Wayne Gee and Stephanie Forster.

Principal, Denise Taylor, said she is delighted with the response for places, with the school, located near the Stadium of Light, set to open in September.

The Beacon of Light School is an alternative provision school and will cater for students aged 13-16-years-old who are on the margins of mainstream education - possibly young people for whom life beyond school is a challenge either due to family circumstances or situations they have become involved in.

The school aims to reintegrate as many of its pupils as possible back into mainstream education to complete their schooling after a placement.

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Denise said: "We’ve had a fantastic response from partner schools and overwhelming demand for places having received two applications for every place at the school, which underlines the very real need for this type of provision.”

"Through the experience of the Foundation of Light we enjoy great trust from schools in the region. They know we can help to give young people a brighter future and help every child fulfil their potential.

“Some young people go through difficult times, find their circumstances changed and experience challenges, which if not addressed could impact upon their future. With a little time and expertise we can change all young lives for the better by concentrating on the areas youngsters can be successful, giving them extra support to ignite their love of learning and instilling a desire to achieve

“Aside from an inspirational and unique environment to study, one of our strongest assets will be the expertise and quality of our teaching staff. We have appointed a truly first-class team of highly experienced educators from across the region and we’re all looking forward to welcoming our first students in September.”

Chairman of Trustees of the Foundation of Light, which sponsors the Beacon School, Sir Bob Murray, said: "I feel passionately about the power of education to change lives and believe every young person deserves their chance to shine.

“The opening of the Beacon of Light School will be the dawn of a new era for the foundation and I am excited and confident that by encouraging our students to want to learn more, do more and be more we will unlock their true potential.”

Staff at the school will include, Mike Redshaw., deputy principal, who was previously associate leader at Lord Lawson of Beamish Academy in Birtley.

Joining him as assistant principal will be Lindsay Howells, who was special needs co-ordinator at Heworth Grange and is a recognised specialist dyslexia teacher.

Curriculum leads at the school include Chris Roberts, previously deputy head at South Shields Community School, Dave Hewson, previously head of ICT at Joseph Swan Academy in Gateshead, and Stuart Curry, who was most recently head of English at Sunderland's Springwell Dene School.