A SCHOOL’S first ever headteacher returned to officially open a new sixth form centre.

The first term at Braintree Sixth Form, at Notley High School, in Braintree, is already under way, but Dorothy Gardner and ex-chair of governors Angela Comfort returned last Wednesday to unveil the new building.

The pair were at the helm of the school when it first opened in 1971. The sixth form closed in 1981.

Miss Gardner said: “It’s great to see the sixth form back here again. We missed it when we lost it 28 years ago.”

Mrs Comfort, who is still a governor, said: “For all the students in Braintree and Coggeshall and surrounding areas, it is a really important day and the culmination of a lot of hard work.

“I think the facilities are fantastic. It is a really sparkling, great new building.”

Student Jessica Eyles, 16, said there is a mix of teenagers from across the district, plus some from London and one from France.

She added: “There are only 100 of us and we all know each other, so there’s this family atmosphere.”

The £6million sixth form is a partnership between Notley High, Braintree schools Alec Hunter Humanities College and Tabor Science College, and Honywood Community Science School in Coggeshall.

It offers 23 subjects at AS and A-level. There are also 16 subjects available for the International Baccalaureate.

Miss Gardner and Mrs Comfort also formally opened the new £460,000 sports hall at Notley High.