The Dales School is a school for children with Special Educational Needs based in Blyth and Ashington and has recently been featured on George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces. The show followed the conversion of their 144 Pacer Train into a library space.
The amazing conversion of the train even comes with its own track and is fitted with a fully working driving simulator to help encourage early career aspirations and to help children with sensory needs to experience the sounds and sights of the railway. You can follow their journey on catch up at Channel 4 (series 11, episode 4): https://www.channel4.com/programmes/george-clarkes-amazing-spaces/on-demand/73975-004 The second carriage is due to be converted into a Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) room to target early career aspirations with local businesses in ICT, mechanics, architecture and science. A large number of volunteers from local, regional and national organisations have provided their time and money to support the project, including Network Rail, Northern, Morgan Sindall, Northumberland County Council, plus many, many more.
Northumberland County Council Leader, Glen Sanderson, said:
I'm so impressed by this fantastic educational tool providing such an interesting way for children to learn. The dedication from the school and the local community and everyone involved is very inspiring.
This is such a unique environment which will help children learn vital rail safety in a really engaging way while at the same time allowing a space for them to learn life skills together with teachers, parents and carers alike. I am very proud that The Dales School are so supportive of this rail scheme as their enthusiasm shines through.
I want to say a huge well done to all involved for thinking outside of the box to help our future generations thrive.
You can read more about the project in the school's train blog: https://www.thedales.northumberland.sch.uk/category/train-blog/