Part of a £45m investment programme, Sunningdale Primary will replace outdated facilities and feature bigger classrooms, sensory areas for SEND students and therapy facilities… 

Here’s everything you need to know… 


New £13m Sunderland School Begins to Take Shape! 



A £13.3m new school is taking shape as part of Sunderland City Council’s ongoing programme of investments and improvements for young people and families.

Sunningdale Primary is a complete new build at Clinton Place, Doxford.

It is part of the City Council’s £45m programme of school updates that’s delivering life-changing facilities for young people.

Sunningdale is a school for children with severe learning and physical difficulties, designed for 120 pupils and to have provision for 16 nursery places.

Groundworks began in the summer and, following foundation works, its steel frame of girders is now going up. 

The new-build project, which is being delivered by Kier, replaces outdated facilities at the school’s old site in Springwell. 

The new school is due to open for the next academic year in September 2022.

As part of the City Council’s school investments, a new £5.3m Willow Wood Primary in Witherwack opened in September, work is starting on the £6.7m Hetton Primary School, and major updates at both Barnes and Fulwell junior schools are being readied. 

The new Sunningdale school has total floor space equivalent to around two football pitches, bigger classrooms, extra hall and therapy provisions including rebound therapy, hydrotherapy, light and sensory facilities and soft play. 

Every class will have a storage area for the mobility equipment that may be needed for the pupils with physical disabilities.

A steel signing has now taken place with pupils, staff and guests making their mark on one of the building’s framework girders.

Sunningdale has been designed and managed by the council’s Capital Projects team with support from Infrastructure and Property Services colleagues. 


‘Pupils will be supported with the very best…’


New £13m Sunderland School Begins to Take Shape! 


Sunderland City Council’s Cabinet Member for Children, Education and Skills, Councillor Louise Farthing said: 

“I think we can all agree that children and students deserve the very best education and the very best facilities.

“Sunningdale looks after some of the city’s most vulnerable young people. 

These are children who absolutely deserve this investment as it will allow them to enjoy a stimulating environment that is built to meet their needs.

“There is exceptional care and support from everyone at the school and the new building and all its facilities will ensure that pupils are supported with the very best.

“It’s a great honour to be here today making our mark, quite literally, as we sign the steel and look to Sunningdale’s opening in 2022.”


Enjoying the signing and site tour with pupils, headteacher James Waller said:

“It was amazing to see the site and spend time with the children there. 

The sense of awe and wonder that the children experienced being on the site and surrounded by the open structure of the building was amazing.

“They were so proud to sign the steel frame and enjoyed seeing the large machinery in operation. 

It helped build a real sense of ownership for them of their new school.

“The school is constantly evolving and growing. 

The new building will have the space and facilities to continue to grow and develop our provision for some of the city’s most vulnerable (but amazing) children.

“It has been fantastic to work in partnership with both Kier and the City Council to develop the building and facilities. 

They have been so responsive to our needs and requests.

All of the staff and pupils are really excited and looking forward to moving in in September 2022.”


Dan Doherty, Regional Director at Kier Regional Building North and Scotland, said: 

“The steel signing event marks an exciting point of the project and the commencement of the assembly of the steel frame.

“The team on site have worked incredibly hard to get to this point and now that the building works have passed this pivotal point, we can really start to see what a brilliant asset this new school will be to the community.”


What do you make of Sunningdale Primary’s new £13m facilities? Get in touch online. Twitter: @SunderlandVibe, Instagram: @SunderlandVibe, Facebook: @SunderlandVibe.

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