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New £1.8m centre opens doors in Telford

Telford | News | Published:

A new £1.8 million specialist learning centre has opened at a Telford college.

Telford College of Arts and Technology has officially opened its new Willow Tree Centre, supporting learners with complex needs and disabilities.

The building, based at TCAT's Wellington campus, is a specialist service for students aged between 16 and 19.

Facilities include a sensory room funded by a £10,000 Big Lottery Fund grant, plus a life skills room, and training areas for hair and beauty, food technology and technology.

At the official launch, parents and carers got the chance to tour the facilities, where staff and students laid on demonstrations.

Post-16 pupils previously based at Bridge School in Hadley in Telford are the first to move into the new facility.

The official opening ceremony was performed by Councillor Paul Watling, cabinet member for children, young people and families at Telford & Wrekin Council.

TCAT principal Chris Scott said: "The Willow Tree Centre offers quality education which is age-appropriate, and is designed to be as inclusive as possible – based entirely upon each student's individual needs.

"It is run by a manager and a deputy manager who are qualified teachers working under the leadership of Telford College, and the centre receives advice from a range of outside health professionals to help meet each student's particular needs."

There will be more teachers at the centre, allowing students to be taught in small classes, with a main teacher supported by a number of learning support assistants.

The Big Lottery Fund grant helped to pay for equipment such as bubble columns, fibre optic carpet, lights and specialist music systems in the sensory room.

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