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“Historic day” as County Council hands school keys to CAT

The keys to Berewood Primary School were officially presented to the University of Chichester Academy Trust by Hampshire County Council on Tuesday, 26th August in a ceremony at the school.

Headteacher Sue Patrick welcomed Councillor Peter Edgar, the Executive Member for Education, and Professor Clive Behagg, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Chichester and Chair of the Board of the University of Chichester Academy Trust (CAT), to Berewood for the formal handover of the new £8 million Primary School to the University’s Multi-Academy Trust.

Councillor Edgar described the occasion as an “historic day” and commented: 'Education is a top priority for the County Council and we are committed to strengthening our relationship with partners and schools.  It is always a great pleasure for me to hand over the keys of a new school and yet again the County Council’s in-house architects and property services team, working also with external consultants, have designed a fantastic building that I am sure will be cherished by staff and students for many years to come.

'With the extensive Government reforms in education our role is changing. We are now in a landscape where academies and free schools are being encouraged and it is necessary that we adapt and continue to improve our many services to schools that help children and young people achieve.'

Professor Behagg said: 'The University of Chichester Academy Trust has developed a strong and satisfying working relationship with Hampshire County Council in preparing for the opening of Berewood Primary School.  It is a very exciting undertaking for us at CAT and demonstrates how a University Academy Trust and a Local Authority can pool expertise to ensure the best educational outcome for local children.

'In joining our Multi-Academy Trust, Berewood Primary School becomes part of a supportive learning community with extensive links to other schools and access to specialist University expertise, resources and research. In turn, we welcome the new relationships we are forging with the vibrant, growing community of Berewood and excellent staff at the Academy.'

The formalities were followed by a tour of the school with Headteacher Mrs Sue Patrick for guests representing the professional teams and organisations closely involved with the project.  Looking ahead to the start of term Mrs Patrick said:  'It is a privilege to have the opportunity to establish our new school at the heart of a brand-new community, to start to get to know the residents of Berewood, and to find out about their needs and hopes for the school as a community asset and for their children’s education.'