SHADOW Education Secretary Ed Balls has highlighted the landmark school development in Mossley Hollins, during his speech to the Labour Party annual conference.
Mr Balls toured the £20million new school, currently under construction, earlier this month.
As well as traditional learning spaces, the school will feature a range of facilities that will include art rooms with panoramic views, state of the art sports facilities and an outdoor amphitheatre.
And today the Mr Balls told delegates at the Labour Party conference, in Manchester, about the impact the new school and the wide curriculum will have on aspiration and academic success of pupils.
In his speech Mr Balls said: "A few weeks ago I went to see a new BSF building for Mossley Hollins High School in Tameside - set to open next February.
"It is an 'outstanding' school and the headteacher and the school council took me on a building site tour to see the science labs and the library and the dance studio.
"Yes, the new dance studio.
"Michael Gove says he wants schools to focus only on 'academic' subjects, to drop our new Diploma and to shun what he sneeringly calls 'soft' subjects like design and technology, construction, music, sprts or dance.
"Conference, I really don't think he's got a clue.
"I’ve been to so many schools over the last three years where headteachers have taken me to see a lesson in GCSE dance and said to me, 'Look at that class, it’s not just that we have a great dance teacher in this school but the boost to aspiration and the belief and motivation of the students in this studio from this course will translate directly into their GCSE maths and English results as well’.
"That is great teaching and great leadership – and we should celebrate our pupils’ achievements and not keep running them down."
Mossley Hollins is one of 10 secondary schools in Tameside that are currently being rebuilt or refurbished under the Labour government's Building Schools for the Future programme.
Plans to rebuild or refurbish a further seven high schools in Tameside had to be axed in July, after the Conservative government withdrew £90million of BSF funding.
In his speech Mr Balls described the decision to scrap thge BSF programme as "short-sighted and arbitrary and unfair".
Published September 29, 2010