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27 June 2018

Sod cutting ceremony marks start of work on new Sandside Lodge School, Ulverston

A sod-cutting ceremony took place today (Tuesday 26th June) to officially mark the start of construction work on the new school buildings for Sandside Lodge in Ulverston.

Cumbria County Council is investing £8.6 million in the exciting project which will create a purpose-built, 80-place special school co-located on the site of Ulverston Victoria High School.

This new development, which is one element of Cumbria’s ambitious and wide-ranging Inclusion Strategy, will provide modern teaching facilities for children with severe and profound learning needs from Early Years Foundation (aged 2) stage to Year 14 (aged 19).

As well as state-of-the-art teaching spaces, the new school will also have facilities including:

  • Sensory Integration Room
  • Hydrotherapy pool
  • Physiotherapy

The new school will open in September 2019 and replace the current Sandside Lodge School, which is no longer fit for purpose.

Cllr Sue Sanderson, Cumbria County Council Cabinet member for Schools and Learning, said: “This is an exciting development which will create a centre of excellence for special needs learning in Cumbria. The new-build will provide much-needed modern, purpose-built facilities for pupils and staff at Sandside Lodge as well as a base for our Special Autism Teaching Support team.”

Cllr Sanderson, who is also Chair of the Governors at Sandside Lodge School, added:

“The current Sandside Lodge School has served the community well but the buildings date back to the 1960s and no longer meet modern day standards for access and learning. In addition, the school’s location on a busy industrial estate is far from ideal.”

The county council has appointed Seddon Construction Ltd as the main contractor for the new-build and construction work is expected to last for 12 months.

Donna Stretton, head teacher at Sandside Lodge, said: “We are so excited about the new build which will give our students the school they truly deserve. Right from the start they have been fully involved in the project - they even chose the colour scheme for the exterior of the building - to ensure the new build can fully cater for their needs and make the school a wonderful place to learn.

“We’re very keen for our students to see how the new build is progressing so we have a working wall in school with photos of the building site for each month. Some of our older students will also be creating a video diary of the building work which they’ll be sharing with the whole school and their families.

“The new build will create a school that meets more than just the basic needs of our students. New facilities like the hydrotherapy pool and sensory room will promote communication and independence and will help our students to further develop the skills they need for life.”


Caption: Cllr Sue Sanderson, Cumbria County Council Cabinet member for Schools and Learning, is pictured at today's sod cutting ceremony with staff and pupils from Sandside Lodge School, local county councillors Mark Wilson and James Airey, representatives from the project's main contractor Seddon Construction and other local dignatories.

Sandside Lodge is a special school catering for pupils aged between two and nineteen who have a statement of Special Educational Needs or Education Health and Care Plan.

All our pupils have learning difficulties and many have additional and complex needs such as autism, physical disabilities and sensory impairments.


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A sod-cutting ceremony took place today (Tuesday 26th June) to officially mark the start of construction work on the new school buildings for Sandside Lodge in Ulverston.