Raising the Bar for Children with Additional Needs

Posted by: Press Team on 08 December 2022 15:21

A South Tyneside school for children and young people with additional needs was officially opened this week.

Guests at the official opening of Epinay Business and Enterprise Business School in South Shields were treated to a performance from the Sing and Sign group while Head Boy and Head Girl, James Smith and Mary Lacy, each delivered a speech.

The Sing and Sign Group
The Sing and Sign Group

The opening ceremony was performed by Leader of the Council, Councillor Tracey Dixon who cut a ribbon and unveiled a plaque.

Cllr Tracey Dixon, with Robert Whitelaw, Vice-Chair of Governors, Cllr Audrey Huntley, Chair of Governors, Cllr Adam Ellison and headteacher Chris Rue

The school moved into its new home on the site of the former South Shields School earlier this year following an investment by South Tyneside Council of more than £1.9 million.

In a speech to invited guests, headteacher Chris Rue said: "We hope to repay the faith the Local Authority has shown in us by continuing to raise the bar and set new expectations for our children with additional needs in this school.

"We want to be the best, the beacon school that the Local Authority is proud of, parents and carers are proud of, but most importantly, we want to be the best school for the children and young people who come here."

The additional space on the new site means more children with additional needs can be taught within the Borough.

Head Girl Mary Lacy told invited guests: "I am grateful to have this new school. At our Jarrow site, we were becoming too squished. I believe we have a really good future with this new school. The possibilities are endless."

In line with the Council's ambition of connecting people to learning, the school has been adapted for its new learners and now houses state-of-the-art facilities, including a rebound therapy room, play therapy room and sensory light areas.

Councillor Adam Ellison, Lead Member for Children, Young People and Families, said: "All our children deserve the very best and Epinay certainly offers that. This new school and its state-of-the-art facilities provide an outstanding learning environment which will undoubtedly make a difference to the lives of these young people and their families."

Last modified: 08 December 2022 15:35