A UNIQUE centre of learning celebrated its 10th anniversary in style with an official blessing by the Bishop of Durham.
The Rt Rev Paul Butler cut a cake marking the start of a host of events at the Education Village, Darlington, which opened in 2006.
Former senior staff were invited back to join the landmark launch including ex-chief executive Dame Dela Smith.
Guests were treated to performances by Beaumont Hill and Springfield Academy choirs before the bishop cut a birthday cake specially made for the event.
For the past ten years EV has been a pioneer in learning bringing together a special school, primary and secondary academies on one site.
The purpose-built village offers students of all abilities facilities second to none and teaching staff experienced in a variety of specialist skills across the full spectrum of education.
The Education Village Academies Trust has since expanded adding Gurney Pease Primary Academy and Marchbank Free School to its family.
Bishop Paul, who called in during a prayer walk around the denary, said: “One of the greatest challenges for us is how we hold on to the fact that every single human being is unique and how we live in harmony despite this diversity, which is why I am so delighted to be here to help the Education Village celebrate its work.”
EVAT chief executive Mike Butler added: “It is fabulous to welcome the bishop here to help us start our celebrations.
“The Education Village is a unique initiative meeting the needs of all abilities under one roof and now expanding high quality education, with the same ethos of inclusion, collaboration and personalisation, into the community to more and more pupils.”