Controversial extension a positive new step for school

EXTRA SPACE: Pupils at Lavenham Primary School prepare for classes in their recently completed extension.

EXTRA SPACE: Pupils at Lavenham Primary School prepare for classes in their recently completed extension.

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The headteacher of a school heavily criticised for its industrial style extension says she is delighted with the building after pupils officially moved in.

Children and teachers at Lavenham Primary School began settling into their new surroundings on Monday after builders left the Barn Street site where they have been working for 11 months.

The extension, built as part of the county’s move to two-tier education, includes a reception classroom and dining room.

“It is lovely to have the extra space for teaching and we are delighted with the extension,” said headteacher Jan Foster.

“The children are all really excited about it and seeing it finished has given everyone a lift.”

Suffolk County Council funded the extension but, as the work neared completion, it drew criticism from a number of residents who claimed its bright yellow colour and metal roof were out of keeping with the village. This led to a £10,000 repaint and the outside walls are now cream.

“It is unfortunate what has been said because it has been a long, hard slog to get to this point and it has taken a bit of the shine off things,” said Mrs Foster, who has been at the school for 10 years.

“We see the extension as something positive and it is a new step for us. What has gone before was out of our control.”

The building’s dining room is also the home of Lavenham Pre-School, which runs there on weekday mornings.