Students celebrate as green light is given for new school in Diggle

EXCITED pupils celebrated the green light for a new Saddleworth School in Diggle by showing off their favourite aspects of the plans.

Cllr Sean Fielding meeting children at Saddleworth School

Oldham Council’s leader Cllr Sean Fielding, along with Cabinet Member for Education and Culture Cllr Paul Jacques and school governors visited the students following the planning committee’s decision.

Year 8 pupils pointed out key features of the proposals for the new £19million school, which is to be built on the former pallet works site on Huddersfield Road.

Hannah Doyle said: “The dining room is a lot bigger compared to the one we have now where we have to squeeze between everyone.

“And upstairs there is an area for art where we can look over the valley which will be great.

“I don’t know if there is any chance of my year group going there and if there is, it won’t be for long, but it is exciting.”

George Kay added: “It will be good to have lessons in one place and the teacher move around.

“The corridors will be much better with one teacher moving to each classroom rather than 30 pupils.”

And Maya Butterfield said: “The bigger dining room will be better so we don’t have to squeeze between the tables, and the toilets for each year will be a lot better too.”

Other benefits the students highlighted included improved sports facilities and changing rooms, a large hall, and specialist science and IT departments.

Mr Matthew Milburn, headteacher, explained there is a two-year build programme which should result in the new school opening in 2021 if there are no delays.

Cllr Fielding added: “It still has to go to the Secretary of State for approval in Westminster so there are a few more hurdles to clear yet.

“I am hopeful there will not be a judicial review as there has been in the past but we have made sure if there is a challenge we can defend it which we couldn’t previously.

“I hope we will soon see a new Saddleworth School as most other areas of Oldham have done.”

Cllr Jacques added: “I am really looking forward to the new school, being involved in the project and seeing it come together.”

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