A secondary school in Bury St Edmunds has welcomed its first group of Year 7 pupils to meet demand from areas outside the town which have already moved to two tier education.
St Benedict’s Catholic School, in Beeton’s Way, has taken on 55 pupils in the new year group - mainly from Haverhill and Newmarket - to be taught in a new state-of-the-art building.
The two towns have moved to two tier schooling which includes the closure of middle schools and the future direction of education in Bury has yet to be decided.
Head Hugh O’Neill said: “This was always intended to be an interim measure . It was essential as the Catholic school providing for the whole of West Suffolk that we needed to have a two tier entry point for those families who required it.”
Catholic education in the town was left in a state of flux after the Schools Adjudicator in December 2011 overturned a Suffolk County Council decision to close St Louis Middle, in Bury.
St Benedict’s has unveiled a new building containing four classrooms to accommodate the extra pupils.
In addition, the school can boast a revamped reception, an extra science lab and new astro turf.
The projects have cost about £1 million with half from the county council and the other from the Catholic diocese.
Meanwhile, Year 7 and Year 9 pupils are show-casing a new uniform.
The school has also recruited the equivalent of 2.5 new staff.
It will hold an open evening on Tuesday October 8.