First Doncaster primary school in 40 years: official opening

The official opening of Carr Lodge Academy in Balby Doncaster. Teachers and pupils gather outside
The official opening of Carr Lodge Academy in Balby Doncaster. Teachers and pupils gather outside

It’s the first newly-built primary school in Doncaster for around 40 years – and it is up and running.

Carr Lodge Academy, on Grady Drive, Balby, was formally opened at a ceremony yesterday, with teachers and pupils taking part in a ceremony and dignitaries given a tour of the £4.6 million facility.

The official opening of Carr Lodge Academy in Balby Doncaster.

The official opening of Carr Lodge Academy in Balby Doncaster.

The school, which will be run by the Wakefield City Academy Trust, is a state-of-the-art primary with council bosses describe as having excellent facilities and an education-focused design.

The academy welcomed 152 students through its doors at the beginning of September for the start of term, and will see new classes added to meet demand.

Doncaster Council bid for and received £4.6 million of funding from the Government for the building of the academy, managing the construction together with contractors Wilmott Dixon.

The completed building, including IT equipment and furniture, was handed over to WCAT, ready to go for the new school year.

Doncaster Council’s cabinet member for children, young people and schools Coun Nuala Fennelly accompanied headteacher Richard Tuddenham and representatives from WCAT and Wilmott Dixon for a tour around the newly-completed school.

She said: “The facilities here at Carr Lodge academy are excellent, and it is great to see both pupils and staff so excited about the future.”

Delighted headteacher Tuddenham said: “It is now, with the education of our pupils, that our journey begins a new chapter. It is our collective responsibility as a community to ensure we provide an education that matches our surroundings; one in which all our pupils can aspire, achieve and succeed.”

Carr Lodge is Mr Tuddenham’s first headship. A graduate of Birmingham Conservatoire, he spent several years as a freelance trombonist, working with some of the world’s greatest orchestras.

He said: “As a teacher, I’m able to draw on those experiences. I am passionate about the power of music and I am a keen sportsman.

“I set high standards for myself and those I work with.”

Alan Yellup, chief executive of Wakefield City Academy Trust, said: “We want the Balby community to be at the heart of Carr Lodge Academy. There has been a large demand for places and we’re pleased to have worked in partnership with Doncaster Council to deliver this much-anticipated facility.”

“This is a much-needed Academy in an area with a major house building programme and growing population.

“We have appointed a team of first class leaders and teachers whose focus is on delivering outstanding teaching and learning.

Wilmott Dixon managing director Anthony Dillon said: “We are delighted to have delivered another successful project with Doncaster Council.

“At a time of increased budgetary constraint it’s great to see what can be achieved when working collaboratively using effective procurement routes such as Scape.

“Not only has a first class school been delivered on time and budget but we have worked hard with Doncaster and Scape to ensure the local economic benefit during construction was maximised.”

Related story: SLIDESHOW:Doncaster’s first new primary school in 40 years opens