Two schools in Sunderland that are part of one of the North East’s largest education trusts have been prioritised for the government’s School Rebuilding Programme.

 St Aidan’s Catholic Academy and St Patrick’s Catholic Primary School, which are part of Bishop Chadwick Catholic Education Trust (BCCET), will have one or more of its buildings replaced or refurbished.

The new buildings will transform the learning environment within both schools and support teachers in delivering high-quality education for all its pupils for decades to come. Bishop Chadwick Catholic Education Trust will work with the Department for Education to agree the educational design of the project and the timeframe for delivery. A key focus will be on creating buildings with energy-efficient designs and high sustainability standards, that will be net zero in operation offering excellent facilities.

Glenn Sanderson, headteacher at St Aidan’s, said: “The new build will provide St Aidan’s with a fantastic opportunity to bring together pupils from age 11 to 18 for the first time, in one state-of-the-art building. This will have a transformational impact on the lives of our young people and the communities we serve.

“We’ve been working collaboratively with the wider Trust and several external partners behind the scenes for some time now and are delighted to be able to finally share this news.

“The new build will provide all members of the community a much-needed boost after the difficulties of the pandemic; It is great to have something exciting and positive to look forward to which will bring significant benefits to the local community for generations to come.

“We will finally have world-class buildings to complement the world-class education we provide.”

Across the School Rebuilding Programme, the rebuilds and refurbishments will create modern education environments, providing new facilities from classrooms and science labs to sports halls and dining rooms.

The programme is due to deliver 500 rebuilding projects over the next decade, which will benefit tens of thousands of pupils over their lifetime.

Gerry Kelly, headteacher at St Patrick’s, said: “We are absolutely delighted with the news that St Patrick’s will be rebuilt. Our current school was built nearly 130 years ago and is in need of significant improvement.

“We are thrilled for all within our school community that we will be able to provide high-quality education for our pupils within a modern building comprising of new and up-to-date facilities.

I would like to give my thanks to the Trust who helped in securing the new build for St Patrick’s.”

St Aidan’s Catholic Academy and St Patrick’s Catholic Primary School are part of an announcement of 61 new projects, including primary, secondary and special schools, levelling up opportunities across the entire country.

Education Secretary James Cleverly said: “Our School Rebuilding Programme is already making a difference to the lives of pupils and their teachers. It is creating greener school sites that are fit for the future and that local communities can be proud of.

“We know how important it is to have high-quality school facilities. That is why we continue to invest billions in our rebuilding programme.”

For more information about Bishop Chadwick Catholic Education Trust, please visit www.bccet.org.uk