Exciting new build a prospect for The Vale

Looking to the future - Principal Gail Young in the computer suite at the Vale of Ancholme Technology College.
Looking to the future - Principal Gail Young in the computer suite at the Vale of Ancholme Technology College.

Brigg’s Vale Academy has had consistently good GCSE results recently and now has a rating of good, with outstanding features, from Ofsted.

The RasenMail’s Brigg reporter, Peter Thompson, takes a look at the The Vale Academy as it faces the exciting prospect of a new build.

Its status as a music college has become recognised, not just locally but further afield.

The school’s hit musical Oliver played to packed houses in the Spring term, while students recently had the honour of working with members of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

But the biggest news could be just around the corner as the Academy is one of the schools which submitted a bid to be part of the government’s Priority Schools Building Programme.

According to information issued by the Department of Education and Science in November, The Vale Academy has in principal been successful in its bid and could find out later this year the details of the new funding and whether the new build will start in the next few years.

One thing is for sure - while there is so much to celebrate in what are halcyon days for the Academy, the buildings are perhaps its weakest point, something Chairman of Governors Stephen Morris and Principal Gail Young know and appreciate all too well.

“One problem is that because we hope there will be a new build we are reluctant to spend too much on maintenance,” said Mr Morris.

As the picture above shows, the Vale was born as Glanford Secondary School on Redcombe Lane in 1956, with Westmoor School built at the other side of a large school games field the following year.

Both schools came together as Brigg Secondary School in 1972 – but the coming together was only partial, the two sites were still divided by that same school field.

By the late 1970s, comprehensive education came to Brigg and a third group of buildings arrived in the form of the design centre and sports hall - the school was renamed The Vale of Ancholme.

Those 1950s classrooms remain however and the site has its limitations, that have been masked by Gail Young’s dynamic period of tenure.

No timescale has been set and just as you cannot judge a book by its cover you can also never judge a school by its buildings.

It is people that really count in creating a successful school – managers, staff and students – but a new build would certainly be a dream come true.