TWO new £1.5million residential buildings at a school for children with severe learning difficulties have been officially opened by The Duchess of Wellington.

The Loddon School, in Sherfield-on-Loddon, welcomed the charity’s patron, Her Grace, The Duchess of Wellington, last week, when she was joined by almost 100 students, families, staff and supporters to mark the celebratory occasion.

The school provides residential living and education to 28 children with autism and severe learning difficulties.

The two new buildings have been named Cherry Wood and will be home to eight students aged 15 to 18.

Lynn Young, principal of The Loddon School, said: “The aim of the new buildings is to provide a nurturing home within a robust and resilient environment which takes into account the needs of the young people for extra space and helps them to live independently.”

Speaking as she cut the ribbon, The Duchess of Wellington said: “As a neighbour and patron it is fantastic to see the already very high standards of The Loddon School improve every year. These new buildings harness new technology to create a living environment that is safe, keeps some of the familiar items of the old building to reassure the students and is calming.”

Marion Cornick, The Loddon School’s founder said: “Despite us starting the school in 1988, the philosophy has not changed. We aim to give the children a safe and secure environment. We praise them for what they do right rather than nag them for what they do wrong.

“Our positive approach means that children make progress and develop the skills to go on to live fulfilling adult lives.”

The buildings were paid for by savings the charity made over the years.