A COMMUNITY school’s permanent building has been officially opened by a former Minister of State for Education.

Labout peer Lord Andrew Adonis, an architect of the academies programme, attended a special service of celebration to mark the completion of Atherton Community School’s building and unveil a plaque marking the occasion.

He also acted as an ‘honorary dragon’ for the final of the school’s Dragons’ Den project which has seen teams of year seven and eight pupils go through the practical stages of business.

He was joined by chairman of governors Chick Yuill, chairman of Chapel Street Community Schools Trust Sir David Bell and the school’s project based learning co-ordinator Ian Mayhew as judges who crowned the creators of a travel mug that doesn’t spill as the winners.

Lord Adonis said: “The children were remarkable - I was truly impressed with the thought and innovation that went into their Dragons’ Den projects.

“The school has a magnificent home here and that, along with the inspiring project-based learning will serve them well for life in the real world.”

In his speech Sir David spoke of the importance of community to all Chapel Street schools.

He said: “I’m thrilled to celebrate your new building with you but the school is not just about buildings; it’s about you and the whole community that comes together to make a school.

“It was this powerful idea - that this school belongs to you, your parents, your community – that inspired me to become chairman of governors.“ The school’s principal, Elizabeth Haddock, has played a key role in setting up the school since its inception.

“I’m hugely proud of the school on this landmark occasion,” she said.

“In the two years the school has been open the young people have made some remarkable achievements including giving over 800 hours of community service and raising over £2,000 for charity.”