MP JO COX visited Hightown to officially open the new Windybank Learning and Community Hub.
The hub brings together two primary schools – High Bank and Hightown – as well as the Liversedge Children’s Centre and Central Avenue Community Playgroup, in an initiative which aims to give children the best start in life.
As part of the scheme, High Bank School has taken over the Children’s Centre building, which was on its site, and has completed work to link the two facilities.
It now provides much-needed extra space for its early years classes and rooms have been created to accommodate community events.
The playgroup, which used to meet there, has moved into the nearby Windybank Community Centre, while Hightown School has also been improved with a new nursery, learning hub and library.
Children’s centre services will now be delivered across each site to provide a more flexible service for parents and children.
Speaking at the official launch at High Bank, Batley and Spen MP Mrs Cox said it was a “brilliant” initiative.
She added: “I am a big fan of early intervention for 0-5 year-olds.
“It’s about making sure children are getting the best start in life and giving support to parents.
“The hub brings together the schools, playgroup and children’s centre to create a brilliant space for families to come, learn and share.”
Windybank was chosen by Kirklees Council to pilot the scheme, which could be introduced in other areas of the district.
Its priorities will be to boost child and family health, prepare children for nursery and school and give families quick access to services.
High Bank headteacher Karen Summers said: “It’s the council’s aim to re-shape services so local communities are much more involved in schools.
“It means that school is the hub for different services such as health, school nurses, social services and family workers, who can come in and work with children and families in a familiar environment.
“We are pleased to be a pilot for this initiative – there is still a lot to be done and we are only a little way on our journey, but we were delighted that Mrs Cox came along and helped us to celebrate all that has been achieved so far.”