Hundreds of parents, pupils, teachers and education specialists flocked to Bethnal Green Technology College to celebrate its new look at an official opening ceremony last week (Thursday 18 November).
Part of the Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme, the school has been transformed by a £17 million refurbishment by construction and services company Bouygues UK, providing new buildings in addition to improved access, ICT facilities and outdoor play and recreation space.
Building Schools for the Future (BSF) is an initiative launched under the previous government that set out to rebuild or refurbish every secondary school in England.
In Tower Hamlets, 21 secondary schools will benefit from the programme, and Bethnal Green Technology College is the first to be completed.
Mayor Lutfur Rahman was joined by Tower Hamlets Chief Executive Kevan Collins, Isobel Cattermole, Corporate Director for Children, Schools and Families and Lionel Christolomme, Managing Director of Bouygues UK, in cutting the ribbon to officially open the school.
Mayor Lutfur Rahman said: “These facilities are fantastic and will give pupils a solid foundation for a bright future. Building Schools for the Future will provide our secondary schools with a total of £350 million so the next few years will be an exciting time as we put that funding to good use.”
He was also accompanied by Councillor Oliur Rahman, Lead Member for Children, Schools and Families, and a former pupil of Bethnal Green Technology College.
Throughout the evening, headteacher Mark Keary took the time to catch up with current and former pupils. He said: “We’re incredibly grateful for the legacy that has been created here as the refurbishment will provide opportunities for students in years to come.
This project has been far more than just building work for us. It’s given the school a spectacular transformation.”
Bouygues UK Managing Director Lionel Christolomme echoed his comments, saying: “We can already see the positive impact the new school environment is having on those who use it and are very proud to have been involved in such a landmark project for the local Bethnal Green community.”
The opening marked the school’s annual student achievement evening and 25 pupils from years 7 to 11 were celebrated for their hard work and contributions to the school.
Sponsored by Allen & Overy, the awards were presented by former pupils who have since left the school to pursue their sixth form studies.
The evening also featured music and drama performances from current pupils and a tour of the school’s new facilities.