A TROUBLED school is on the up, according to an MP.

Stephen Metcalfe, MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock, is hopeful for the future of Woodlands School, which is set to move into its new building next month.

The MP visited the £25million building, which has new science labs, gym and creative arts facilities that can house all 1,500 pupils.

Currently, Woodlands, in Takely End, is divided into a cluster of units meaning staff and students have lengthy walks between lessons.

The new building has been built on existing playing fields and playgrounds.

Mr Metcalfe said: “This £25 million investment is brilliant news for Woodlands.

“I was extremely impressed by the new site. The importance of a positive learning environment cannot be underestimated and I hope Woodlands pupils and staff will be enthused and excited by their new facilities and all that they offer.”

Mr Metcalfe hopes the move will signal a new start for the school.

Headteacher Andy White resigned in December after Ofsted inspectors criticised him for covering up the school’s failings.

As the school inspectors placed it in special measures, they said Mr White had promoted the school as excellent, but added “nothing was further than the truth”.

It is nowbeing run by executive headteacher Karen Kerridge, who discussed an action plan with Mr Metcalfe to explain how she plans to drive up standards.

Mr Metcalfe said: “I was extremely impressed by the pupils and their desire to succeed.

“Both students and staff are pressing forward and I am confident that under this new leadership we will see improvements in the near future. The new building can only help this process.

“Woodlands is going through a difficult time, but I am confident it can emerge as a stronger and better school with the new facility signalling a fresh start.”