On Thursday 12th July, Sawtry Village Academy held a spade in the ground event to mark the start of its £2million building project, which has gained a wealth of support from the local community including MP Shailesh Vara and Councillor Simon Bywater.
The Academy’s ‘New Building, Strong Future’ campaign started in 2017 following a lack of leadership in the Academy over a prolonged period under its former headteacher, James Stewart. In December, the campaign was hailed a success as the Cambridgeshire County Council’s Children and Young Persons committee voted to invest £2million in Sawtry Village Academy’s dilapidated buildings.
Sarah Wilson, Principal at Sawtry Village Academy, opened the event. Within her speech, Mrs Wilson said: “This new building does more than improve our classroom provision; it signifies reward for the staff who have worked hard under difficult circumstances. It gives hope for our students and it shows the strength and power that our school, Trust and community have when we all work together.”
Mrs Wilson added: “This campaign has been close to many peoples’ hearts and we’ve worked so hard alongside the community to make sure that Sawtry has a school that students can be proud of. New Building, Strong Future proves what we can achieve when we pull together as a Trust, and community, and maintaining this relentless sense of optimism means we’re getting results and making positive changes for our pupils.”
“I feel very proud that the building work is starting and I’m looking forward to be able to use the new facilities in summer 2019. We continue to fight for the educational environment that our staff and students deserve. Sawtry Village Academy is already seeing improvements, with our recent Ofsted inspection highlighting how incredibly hard our school has worked, supported by CMAT, to ensure students have received the best possible education throughout.”
MP Shailesh Vara and Councillor Simon Bywater also spoke at the event about their involvement in the campaign and of the bright future this new building will bring for the school and its students.
MP Shailesh Vara, said: “It is great to see the development finally getting started, after years of hard work from Principal Sarah Wilson, the Academy Trust and local Councillor Simon Bywater. All of this would not have been possible without their hard work and determination along with the generous funding from the Children and Young Persons committee of £2 million towards the redevelopments. This new building will give the children hope and enormous pride in their school, which will allow them to prosper in their education. I look forward to following this development through the stages and seeing the finished building next year.”
Representatives from contractors, Tillyards, Hutton Construction and Cambridge-based architects, Lyster Grillet Harding (LGH) also attended the event, along with students and staff from across Cambridge Meridian Academies Trust.
Earlier this year, Sawtry Village Academy celebrated after an Ofsted inspection judged the school to be ‘Good’ in all areas, with an ‘Outstanding’ sixth form. Ofsted said that the school had been “on a rapid journey of improvement since the previous inspection.”
Inspectors praised the effectiveness of the Academy’s partnership with CMAT over the past three and a half years. They said “the trust provides very effective support at both strategic and operational levels. Leaders from across the trust support and work alongside leaders to drive forward improvements.”