Robert Scott has announced plans to build a new school for local children on land next to its head office and mill in Greenfield, Oldham.
Bright Futures School, founded in 2010, is a small independent school dedicated to helping children with autism. The school brings a new approach to autism education by seeking to work on the core difficulties at the heart of autism. These include difficulties with emotional regulation, social understanding, perspective-taking, and managing uncertainty and unpredictability. In April 2018, the school was informed its rented premises were to be sold and had been living in a state of uncertainty about its future ever since.
In June 2018, Daniel Scott, operations director at Robert Scott, learned of the school’s predicament. Due to the specific nature of its requirements for pupils, the school’s management team - including proprietor, Zoe Thompson - had been struggling to find suitable premises in the local area within its limited budget. Following consultation with its board of directors, Robert Scott has offered to build a new school for Bright Futures on the site of a former farm building on vacant land opposite its Greenfield mill. Plans for the build will be submitted for approval to Oldham Council with the hope that the school would be completed and ready for use in 2019.
Zoe Thompson said: “Robert Scott has secured our future and given us a platform from which to implement some big plans that we have for our school. We are so grateful to Daniel and the board of directors. The company will also benefit from the development of the site to create a new car park for its staff, but we just couldn’t believe that someone would go to the lengths of building a whole new school for us - it’s so generous.”
Daniel Scott added: “Having heard about the plight of the school and subsequently learned what a fantastic institution it is, we wanted to help. It was clear that Bright Futures school’s needs were unique and as we have a plot of land that would really lend itself to meeting those needs I was happy to offer to help. Between us, we have been working on creating a fantastic small, nurturing learning environment, allowing the school to continue its amazing work with the children.”
The school has also been supported by chartered architectural technologists, Whittaker Design, which offered help in locating alternative premises, and Saddleworth South councilor, Jamie Curley, who helped navigate some council-related issues.
The move cements Robert Scott’s commitment to helping local communities served by its business and those of its distributors. Earlier this year, the company launched its first nationwide ‘Cleaning up your Community’ initiative and plans to run the competition again in Spring 2019.
Photo shows: From left: Lee Hollinworth, She Thompson and Daniel Scott at the site of the new school.