School Dene Sunderland
Mayor of Sunderland Cllr David Snowdon.
Rebecca Wayman

Olympic champion helps open Sunderland's renewed £1.4m Springwell Dene school

The Mayor of Sunderland and Olympian Aly Dixon have welcomed guests to the official opening of the Sunderland Link School at Springwell Dene today (December 6).

The school has received a £1.4m regeneration and, since September 2019, has been the new location for young people aged five to 14 studying at Key Stages 1 to 3.

The Link School Sunderland provides alternative provision meeting the needs of pupils not attending mainstream school.

The new location has increased alternative provision in Sunderland with an additional 40 places.

Donna Walker, Link School’s head-teacher, said: “We are grateful to everyone that came along to help us mark this occasion. Anyone that visits our school will see what a welcoming and caring place it is and today demonstrated that.”

New facilities at the school include a new £250k ICT infrastructure, music recording studio, refurbished arts and ceramics studio, upgrades to every classroom, refurbished sports and dining halls, plus the creation of an outdoor classroom area.

Current 50km world record holder Aly Dixon, from Sunderland, delivered a speech and participated in a PE lesson with pupils in the sports hall.

The Mayor of Sunderland, Cllr. David Snowdon, unveiled a commemorative plaque, that is positioned alongside plaques that mark the opening of the original building in 1949 and a refurbishment in 1989.

Fiona Brown, executive director of Neighbourhoods at Sunderland City Council, concluded: “This project really does offer improved alternative provision in Sunderland and it was great to share in showcasing high levels of teaching.

“This council and its partners are committed to ensuring that all our city’s students get the very best.”

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