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Lowestoft: New home for learning centre

PUBLISHED: 13:39 20 November 2009 | UPDATED: 15:21 06 July 2010

A SPECIAL teaching centre which will help children from across north Suffolk has been officially opened in Lowestoft.

For the past six years, staff at the Harbour pupil referral unit (PRU) have had to teach in mobile classrooms but on Friday the new state-of-the-art centre, on Saturn Close, was opened.

A SPECIAL teaching centre which will help children from across north Suffolk has been officially opened in Lowestoft.

For the past six years, staff at the Harbour pupil referral unit (PRU) have had to teach in mobile classrooms but on Friday the new state-of-the-art centre, on Saturn Close, was opened.

The PRU provides teaching for children with emotional and behavioural problems who cannot attend mainstream schools and now the students have specially-designed space for all curriculum subjects, including modern facilities for food technology, drama, art and science.

About 40 children from across north Suffolk and Lowestoft will attend the PRU each week in small groups and there is also a nurture room for younger children.

Headteacher Paul Baverstock said: “In our old mobile buildings, we were never able to have proper ICT space or a library so this building gives us the space we need. It was no use saying to children that education is important and then sticking them in a mobile with leaky windows. With this superb new building, their education is tangible and they really feel that it is important.

“Hopefully the facilities here will help all the staff and pupils and will mean that we can keep up our success rate for getting children back into mainstream education.”

He said that all the children who attend will have the chance to cook in the new kitchen and to create and maintain the gardens, raised beds and a kitchen garden.

The building was officially opened by Graham Newman, Suffolk County Council's portfolio holder for children, schools and young people's services.

The PRU was originally proposed for a site in Pakefield but local objection in 2006 led to a public inquiry turning those plans down. In August last year, the site on the Harris Middle School playing field was suggested and despite some opposition from some neighbours, work on the building got under way in February this year.


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