Walworth Special School recently celebrated its 40th birthday in its current location. The School was located where Walworth Castle Hotel now exists but moved to Newton Aycliffe in April 1979, but never changed its name. When the school opened it was a school for secondary children where several girls boarded on a full time basis. The first Head Teacher of the new school was Mrs Norma Young who stayed at the school for several years after the transfer.

Walworth has had several changes in its designation for children over the years and now provides education and residential care for boys and girls aged from 4 years to 11. The children who attend are assisted with their Social, Emotional and Mental Health problems by a highly knowledgeable Governing body and dedicated staff teams supporting both their education and residential needs.

Currently Walworth cares for 90 children from all over County Durham and some children from neighbouring Local Authorities. Walworth offers all of its children good to outstanding provision with person specific educational and social packages. All children follow the National Curriculum and this is enriched by many other activities both in and outside school. The curriculum and social development is enhanced with additional support from Future Steps (Occupational Therapy) Speech and Language Support from the NHS and children`s and staff wellbeing packages are provided by a CAMHS clinician, each service providing the children with two days support each week.

All of the children and staff celebrated the 40th birthday with a special tea party. Alongside this there were lots of opportunities for the children to take part in a series of fun activities. The children were treated to a circus skills demonstration and then accessed workshops where they were taught circus tricks of the trade. Inflatables were on site and the ice cream man paid a visit. The children played party games and listened to music from the day, Bright Eyes by Art Garfunkel topping the charts. The two longest serving children cut distinctive mini van birthday cakes, the school mini vans both synonymous with Walworth and their current logo.

Current Head Teacher, Peter Wallbanks, said, “This was a fantastic day where everyone enjoyed themselves. Walworth is a school filled with very, very special children and staff who celebrated a very special day in the School`s history. Children should be the heart of every school and hopefully the children will all remember the 40th birthday of their school”