A NEW era for education has begun in Burnley after four multi-million pound super schools were officially unveiled.
The state-of-the-art facilities at Unity College, Blessed Trinity RC College, Hameldon Community College and the Rose School have taken years to build but this week they open their doors to more than 3,000 pupils.
Headteachers hope the ambitious 88m. scheme will kick-start an academic revolution and bring 21st Century education to Burnley.
The completion of the project marks the first major milestone in the Building Schools for the Future programme, which has brought the town to the forefront of secondary education.
Mrs Sally Cryer, headteacher of the new 33m. Unity College, said the school's vision had been achieved and it would help raise standards and aspirations in the pupils. "There is a real buzz about the place. We have waited so long for it. This is a massive investment and we need to make it count."
The 1,050-pupil school is built around a sweeping crescent-shaped corridor with two cafes, a stunning auditorium and huge climbing wall at one end and "flexible" classrooms and break-out work spaces at the other.
The building houses the City Learning Centre which boasts a professional TV studio.
Miss Bernadette Bleasdale, headteacher of the 24m. Blessed Trinity RC College in Ormerod Road, was thrilled all 1,250 pupils were finally coming together in the "fantastic" new school. "The building is wonderful. The resources we have now are amazing. It is now up to the children and staff to live up to it."
The school's ultra-modern classrooms are ordered in colour-co-ordinated zones and the sleek architectural design gives airy and open learning spaces.
Miss Gill Broom, headteacher of the new 22m. Hameldon Community College, was equally thrilled with the achievements of the BSF project.
"Our vision was to build something that would involve the community as well as students. The school is absolutely amazing. We now have to work very hard to make sure the aims of BSF come to fruition."
The building has a high-tech auditorium, food technology suites, a sensory garden and community rooms.
Nicky Jennings, headteacher of the 9m. Rose School for children with behavioural problems, said: "This has been designed specifically with the pupils in mind. They are our most vulnerable children and they deserve this."
>>Click here to view our photo gallery of the new Blessed Trinity
>>Click here to view our photo gallery of the new Hameldon Community College
>>Click here to view our photo gallery of the new Rose School
>>Click here to view our photo gallery of the new Unity College