Head’s delight at pledge to 
invest in school

Head teacher Helen Hannah with children at Ferney Lee Primary school, Todmorden.
Head teacher Helen Hannah with children at Ferney Lee Primary school, Todmorden.

A headteacher has said she is “absolutely thrilled” that children at her primary school will get a building that is fit for purpose.

Helen Hannah, headteacher at Ferney Lee Primary School, Todmorden, has welcomed Calderdale Council’s commitment to invest funds in a major re-building project at the school.

A feasibility study is now underway to decide which of the proposed options is best: refurbishing the existing building or constructing a new facility on the current school site.

When the study is completed, the council will make the final decision.

Mrs Hannah said: “We are very excited and I’m confident that the children at this school are going to get a building that is fit for purpose.

“Having a school experience in an amazing place would raise aspirations.”

Some parents have objected to proposals for a new facility on the site as they feel the current building, which educated two Nobel Prize winners, is of historical importance to the town.

But Mrs Hannah said that, from a financial point of view, the better option would be a new building.

“Whilst I understand the strong feelings around the heritage of the current building and I appreciate it’s architectural beauty and the fact that it does have historical importance in the town, I also recognise that for me to manage my current budget it is not sustainable in the long term due to the very high costs.”

“I really welcome investment in the children of this school so that we end up with a building that is fit for purpose and has the very best learning opportunities in a building that reflects Ofsted saying we are good with outstanding features,” she said.

“We have to creatively display children’s work over cracks and crevises so that they don’t see the state of the building.

“From a budget point of view, it’s a no-brainer.

“A new building would help with our budget and help to retain current staff and recruit staff when I need to respond to increasing need. At the moment I don’t have that flexibility.”

“We are the most expensive primary school in Calderdale to run because the building is 4,500 square feet.

“It was built as a secondary school and we have a primary school in it.”

Mrs Hannah said the project “will not happen overnight” but it is an exciting time ahead for the school.

“We have been teased with the carrot but we have to go back to normal and wait for it to happen,” she said.

Councillors have pledged to meet with parents once the study is completed.