A NEW £3.2million free school is set to open in Blackburn next week.

Eden School, which caters for children with social, emotional and mental health needs, opened in 2014 in temporary accommodation and has been waiting for the new building to be completed.


The group of 13 pupils and eight members of staff have been housed within The Heights Free School in Heys Lane but will move out on Friday into their new building next door.

The two free schools are part of the Blackburn-based Education Partnership Trust and share executive headteacher Belinda Logan.

Head of school Rob Brocklebank said that the number of pupils on the roll will increase to 24 this year with the numbers hoped to swell to 42 next year and to the capacity of 60 the following year.

He added that the staffing levels are also set to rise.

Mr Brocklebank said: “We have now got a beautiful new building and we are excited to move in.

“It’s been a bit tight at The Heights because we have been sharing two classrooms which has put pressure on us.

“We have been made to feel very welcome at The Heights and we will continue to work very closely with them.

“Our pupils will use their sports facilities and theirs will use our science labs.”

The project, which has been led by contractors ISG, has been financed by the Education Funding Agency.

The site was handed over to the school leaders at a ceremony on Monday.

The new building will provide education for students from seven to 16-years-old.

Mr Brocklebank added: “It has been a difficult circumstance with not having our own building but we have made a success of it.

“We are focused on giving these children the same chance of succeeding as children in mainstream schools.

“The new building will provide us with cutting-edge technology, new science facilities and more space for more pupils.”

The pupils are set to start in the new building on Monday and parents have been invited to have a look around on the day as well.

The Education Partnership Trust also runs Coal Clough Academy in Pendle and Pleckgate High School in Blackburn.