Lord Robert Winston launches school science block appeal

LEADING scientist Lord Robert Winston has given his backing to a school’s appeal to raise �1m to help fund a new science block.

Dame Alice Owen’s School in Potters Bar wants to build the state-of-the-art facility as part of its 400th anniversary celebrations, in 2013.

The appeal was launched on Tuesday last week at Portcullis House, in the shadow of Big Ben in London.

Lord Winston, the school’s guest speaker, told an assembled audience of past and present pupils, staff, and dignitaries: “This is a very, very important initiative.

“It’s an undoubtedly excellent cause and I’m pleased and privileged to be here this afternoon.”

Lord Winston added around a third of schools in the UK were teaching science in buildings or facilities that were inadequate or not fit for purpose.

And he said he hoped this appeal would help Dame Alice and Imperial College London, where he is a professor, form a collaborative bond.

Most Read

Speeches backing the project were also given by Potters Bar MP James Clappison and shadow health minister Emily Thornberry, an MP in Islington, where the Dame Alice school was formerly based.

Mr Clappison, whose office had arranged the launch venue, said the current science block dated back to the 1970s and was “past its best”.

He said: “It’s a fine school and they do need this facility to help maintain their very high levels of excellence.

“I cannot think of anything better to support than this appeal.”

The building, which will feature 16 classrooms equipped with the latest technology, and moveable walls to allow lecture halls to be created, is set to cost �6m.

The school already has �2m set aside through trusts and reserves, and wants to raise another �1m before seeking the remainder through Government funding.