Attic centre to breath new life into town’s vacant former middle school building
- Credit: Nick Butcher
A school for children with social, emotional and mental health needs is set to move into the site formerly occupied by Bungay Middle School.
The Attic Learning Centre will relocate to the Hillside Road East site in Bungay on April 24, which was also the former home of the town’s sixth form.
First established in 2013, the organisation is a Pupil Referral Unit (PFU) school comprised of three learning centres.
The Attic was previously based in Lovewell Road, Lowestoft, however this site was deemed to “no longer meet the needs of the young people attending” and was closed in October 2017.
Headteacher Jo Lawrence believes the Bungay site, which will be known as ‘Attic@Hillside’, will provide an opportunity to enhance the school’s curriculum.
She said: “As it was very recently a sixth form there are a range of excellent facilities for carpentry, hospitality and catering, along with creative art spaces. We plan to offer a range of vocational and skills based subjects to complement the academic core subjects.
“Our focus for our pupils is on employability and harnessing them with the skills to progress to post-16 with tangible qualifications.”
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The site is owned by Suffolk County Council and until 2012 was occupied by Bungay Middle School. However, during the School Organisation Review, which saw Suffolk schools change from the three-tire to two-tier system, it was closed.
In September 2012, Bungay High Sixth Form moved into the site but vacated last year after a reduction in pupil numbers meant it could return to the main high school site in Queen’s Road.
Residents were informed of the school’s arrival at an information session held earlier this month.
Terry Reeve, who attended the session on behalf of Bungay Society said: “It is nice to see the site given a use and certainly from my point of view I was reassured about the school’s arrival - although I understand it will not be a permanent base.”
The Attic is expected to occupy the site for about two years, and after that it has been earmarked as an option for the relocation of Bungay Primary School.
A county council spokesman said: “It is hoped another community meeting will take place before April to share further information with residents and answer any queries.”