Dozens of new school places to be confirmed by Liverpool Council

Liverpool Council is expected to approve the next phase of works to deliver hundreds of vital new school places for children with special educational needs.

Since 2019, the number of children across the city with educational health care plans (EHCPs) has risen by almost 50%, with more than 4,000 young people recorded as requiring specialist provision. In a bid to address this, Liverpool Council drew up a plan to create at least 500 new spaces in the coming years.

The local authority’s cabinet is now expected to sign off on the next phase of works, with dozens of new places earmarked for this coming September.

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According to documents made available ahead of the city’s executive team meeting next week, the first phase of its sufficiency programme delivered 145 new places from last September at Palmerston College, Bank View High School and Millstead Primary School. It is expected an additional 355 places are to be created for the next two academic years.

The local authority is seeking approval to move forward with the next stage of adding to those numbers at Millstead in Everton as it makes changes to plans put forward previously.

During the course of the first phase of works, a requirement for up to a further 40 places was identified due to an increase in students requiring special educational provision and this being the most appropriate setting. In response to the increasing number of children and young people indicated as requiring a specialist school place the council approved proposals for further works at the Palmerston College and Bank View High School satellite sites.

To deliver additional places at Millstead, temporary classroom units are proposed to be retained for up to another three years at a cost of £1.5m. Additional works to allow this are expected to cost the council an additional £738,914.

The modular units were installed as part of the phase one works to provide temporary accommodation for the school’s existing students whilst works were being carried out to the school site. This new proposal requires three of the four modular units at the school to be retained for up to a further three years, with a substation being installed to replace the generator currently being used to provide power.

A design engagement exercise has been undertaken with Palmerston which identified the requirement for an increase to the scope of the second phase there, including the provision of hydrotherapy facilities and school direct costs such as furniture and equipment. These additional costs, together with an increase in the cost of achieving the Biodiversity Net Gain requirements of the planning approval will require an estimated additional funding allocation of £423,825.

Refurbishment of the theatre and control room of the former Parklands High School, which is to be repurposed for Bank View, has been identified as a benefit which wasn’t initially included in the plans. A review of the cost plan identified a short fall in scope and budget relating to the installation of suspended ceilings to classrooms and associated mechanical and electrical fittings.
The addition of works to the school theatre and ceiling related works will require an estimated additional funding allocation of £1.2m. The proposals will be signed off next Tuesday at Liverpool Town Hall.

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