Council meets demand for special school places

Group of children
Group of children

Liverpool City Council is expanding the number of special school places.

The number of pupils attending special schools in Liverpool has increased by eight percent since 2008, in line with national trends.

Better medical care means the number of pupils with severe learning difficulties has increased by 25 percent since 2010 – up from 231 to 336 – because children with previously untreatable or life threatening conditions are now able to attend school.

There has also been a similar percentage growth in the number of pupils diagnosed with autism, due to improved assessment at an earlier age.

Now the city council is acting to meet the demand as part of the Mayor’s Investment Plan for Secondary Schools.

Redbridge High Community Special School – judged ‘outstanding’ by OFSTED – will have 30 additional places when it moves from its current home in Fazakerley to a new £5 million building on Long Lane in early 2015. The new building will replace its existing worn out and cramped facilities – enabling it to increases its numbers from 90 to 120. Also co-located on the site will be a new £5 million home for Bank View High Special School, which will support up to 150 pupils.

Plans are being drawn up to rebuild Aigburth High School at a cost of £5 million and spend a further £5 million relocating Millstead Primary School from Wavertree to the site of the former Campion City Learning Centre in Everton.

Work is also about to start on classroom extensions worth a total of £2 million for Palmerston and Abbot’s Lea Special Schools in Woolton.

Councillor Jane Corbett, Cabinet member for education, said: “We are seeing increases in demand for places due to amazing advances in medicine and care, and better diagnosis of conditions.

“Our children with the most needs deserve the best teaching in quality buildings. We are responding to the increase in demand by replacing worn out facilities with better quality buildings and making sure we can cope with demand.

“The new schools will replace existing tired and worn out facilities. They will enable staff to teach pupils the full curriculum which is hugely important to make sure they achieve their full potential.

“This will further improve both the teaching and learning and build on the already outstanding education that our young people receive.”