£5 million academy for special educational needs children launches in Northampton

Purple Oaks Academy has held its official opening.
Purple Oaks Academy has held its official opening.

Northampton is now home to a £5million academy especially for children with special educational needs.

The new Purple Oaks Academy marked its official opening on Tuesday (March 12) with a book-giving drive, where special guests were invited to grow its library.

The 5million academy accepted its first pupils in September.

The 5million academy accepted its first pupils in September.

The free school, with places for 100 SEN pupils and began teaching in September, is equipped with sensory rooms, a secure grass sports pitch and dedicated games areas, with 14 classrooms and its own kitchen.

Principal Sarah Martin said: “The official opening of the academy has been a great celebration of the fantastic new facilities we have here.

“We have noticed children who come to learn here are much calmer and are becoming more independent.

"Our parents have already given our academy top marks in a recent survey. The academy wouldn’t have been such a success without the teams which helped make it a reality and I want to thank them for that."

A pupil enjoys the new library.

A pupil enjoys the new library.

The special needs school welcomed students for the first time in September 2017 and the students moved into the new building in January 2018, which offers educational support for students with a diagnosis of autism and severe learning difficulties

The academy was built by G F Tomlinson in 12 months and donated the entire science and technology section of the new library.

Andy Sewards, managing director for G F Tomlinson, said: "Schools like this not only inspire and educate children, but also empower them to become more independent.

"I’m confident this school will improve the lives of many more children in years to come and hope that the new library books we have donated will be enjoyed by many."

Left to Right: Principal Sarah Martin, Greenwood Academies Trust CEO Wayne Norrie and operations director Darren Yarnell.

Left to Right: Principal Sarah Martin, Greenwood Academies Trust CEO Wayne Norrie and operations director Darren Yarnell.

The new academy is managed by Greenwood Academies Trust, which runs 11 other academies in Northamptonshire.