The Rt Revd Mark Bryant, Bishop of Jarrow has today (Tuesday 23rd June) marked a new chapter in the life of the Ian Ramsey Church of England Academy by formally opening and dedicating its new £12.8M building, the first secondary school to open under the Government’s ‘Priority Schools Building Programme’.
The ceremony attended by representatives of the Diocese of Durham, Stockton Council, The DfE and Mayor of Stockton Cllr Ian Dalgarno signifies the formal opening of a new building completed in 2014 allowing the move from a split site on to a single site with 21st century facilities better suited to the delivery of a 21st century curriculum. For a long while Ian Ramsey was the only Church of England Secondary School in the Diocese, opening in 1963 and it is hugely significant that the school continues in a great new building.
The Venerable Stuart Bain, Archdeacon of Sunderland, Chair of the Durham Diocesan Board of Education and Chair of the Dayspring Trust said: “I know that the Board are thrilled to see the new building opened and blessed by Bishop Mark, another step in Ian Ramsey’s development as a great diocesan school.
“We value the partnership between the Diocese, the Education Funding Agency and Stockton Borough Council which has brought this project to a successful conclusion.
“The Dayspring Trust is very much part of the Diocese of Durham, supported by the Diocesan Board of Education and the Joint Education Team of Durham and Newcastle Dioceses. The partnership with the Venerable Bede Church of England Academy in Sunderland within the Multi Academy Trust is about seeking to support the pursuit of excellence in both schools, based on a principle of ‘better together’.”
Schools Minister Lord Nash said: “As part of our long-term economic plan we are investing in school buildings across the country, so we can transform the learning environment for tens of thousands of pupils and their teachers.
“The reopening of Ian Ramsey Church of England Academy marks a key milestone for the Priority School Building Programme in the North East of England.
“As part of this government’s commitment to help young people reach their potential, we want all children to have access to the best possible schools and to learn in an environment that gives them the knowledge and skills to succeed in modern Britain. These new school buildings will provide modern, fit-for-purpose facilities for pupils and staff for many years to come.”
Executive Head Teacher Gill Booth said: “Today marks a special occasion for the students, staff, governors and stakeholders of Ian Ramsey Church of England Academy. The young people of today deserve to have the best facilities in which to grow and develop; this new building offers our young people a chance to flourish and learn within the best facilities that the 21st century can offer.
“Our mission together is to bring a first class education and a breadth of opportunity to all of our pupils in light of the Christian Gospel. At the heart of everything is inclusivity. We are committed to being inclusive and serve equally those who are of the Christian faith, those of other faiths and those with no faith. We seek to give opportunities that are educative, participative and enabling for young people, but also seek the same opportunities for all of our staff.
“Working with young people is a vocation and we are here to serve our community. This new building offers us the chance to work in a stimulating and professional environment that is ideally suited to the needs of all of our learners.”
Bishop Mark said: “I was delighted to be asked to mark the start of this new chapter in the life of one of our Diocesan Secondary Schools. The importance of the work done every day in Church Schools up and down the country where we educate more than 1 Million young people every day can not be overstated, and this is a fantastic new building, providing state of the art facilities and opportunities for young people in stockton. Its joining with the Venerable Bede Church of England Academy in Sunderland as part of a new multi-academy trust – opens up new opportunities and in many ways creates important links in our communities across the diocese.
Also amongst the invited guest was Alumnus Dave Robson, who is now race engineer for Felipe Massa in the Williams Formula One team. Robson studied at the school before reading engineering at St John’s College, Oxford and starting his F1 Career with McLaren in 2000.