A new £5.4million free school delivering alternate provision has opened its doors.

The Heights Burnley, which sits on the former fire-ravaged Ridgewood School site on Burleigh Street, welcomed an intake of new students at the beginning of September.

The state-of-the-art school has places for 150 students, aged five to 16, from Burnley and the surrounding areas who struggle in mainstream schools.

Currently it has 44 pupils attending classes, and as well as providing GCSE’s, there's also a salon on site for hairdressing students, and the school offers a BTEC in Hospitality and Catering as well as BTEC’s in Sport, Health and Social Care, Construction and much more.

The Heights Burnley is part of the not-for-profit Education Partnership Trust (EPT) which is also responsible for The Heights Blackburn, Pleckgate High School, which was recently judged as Outstanding by Ofsted, and Coal Clough Academy in Burnley.

Head Teacher Susannah Berry, said: "We cater for students who have struggled in mainstream schools for a variety of reasons.

"The school was built in response to demand from the secondary school heads in Burnley who felt they needed this provision.

"We have the core curriculum subjects such as English, maths and science and, as most schools are Progress 8 based around eight core subjects, we are Progress 7, based on seven core qualifications as we believe that’s achievable for the students here.

"We also offer vocational qualifications and provide a more work-based environment, which is why we have our state-of-the-art salon and construction rooms, among other equipment here."

Catering for the individual needs of students, the school is passionate about making a difference, having an impact, and delivering high quality teaching.

Pupils are taught in small groups, which allows the teachers to provide individual packages and support.

Chair of Governors Steve Wilson, who is Head of Pendle Vale College, said: "This is a great alternative provision for students who are not engaging in school and need a more bespoke package.

"The Heights Burnley will complement the high quality provision offered by Coal Clough Academy to ensure we are able to support the different needs of young people and prepare them for a successful transition post-16."