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Cabinet Secretary opens new school

THE NEW Gelliswick Church in Wales VC Primary School has been officially opened by the Cabinet Secretary for Education, Kirsty Williams AM.

The school – which opened its doors to pupils and staff in the New Year – represents a £12 million investment in education in the Milford Haven area.

It is one of several new schools which have been built – or are being built – in Pembrokeshire under the 21st Century Schools and Education Programme, a collaboration between Pembrokeshire County Council and the Welsh Government who are sharing the funding.

The 515-pupil school replaces Hakin Community and Hubberston VC schools.

As well as a new build primary school, the facility provides an Early Years Unit for around 60 pupils; a Complex Needs Unit for 24 pupils and other facilities accessible to the local community.

A new 3G sports pitch has also been laid adjacent to the site.

Mrs Williams was welcomed to the school on Friday by Council Chairman, Paul Harries, and headteacher Nick Dyer along with the chairs of the School Council, pupils Mali Anne-John and Holly Pyart.

She told guests: “I am so proud that Welsh Government has been able to support your new school with match-funding of almost £5.5 million from our 21st Century Schools and Education Programme.

“This £1.4 billion programme represents the largest investment in our schools and colleges since the 1960s. It will mean the replacement and refurbishment of over 150 schools and colleges by 2019.

“This investment will also continue from 2019 onwards with further funding of £2.3 billion to ensure our education estate continues to improve while supporting our national mission to provide an education system that is a source of national pride and confidence.

“We all have a duty to our children not only to provide inspiring learning environments and the best foundation for their development but also to respect diversity in education setting.”

Earlier musical items were sung by the Gelliswick Community Choir comprising parents, grandparents, pupils, staff and other members of the public.

The choir’s formation has helped unify the new school.

After unveiling a plaque, the Cabinet Secretary toured classrooms and met pupils and teaching staff.