New plan for £16m school

A SITE has been identified for the planned £16 million Archbishop Blanch High School in Liverpool.

It is being proposed that the school move from its cramped buildings on Mount Vernon Road near the city centre to a new purpose-built site on Earle Road, off Smithdown Road in Wavertree.

The land is currently a brownfield site, and was originally planned for housing redevelopment. The site has been earmarked for the school as it is in close proximity to the existing schooland has good transport links.

Archbishop Blanch is one of at least 12 schools being rebuilt under the Mayor’s Investment Plan for Secondary Schools – devised as a rescue package following the scrapping of Wave Six of Liverpool’s Building Schools for the Future (BSF) project.

The new complex will include on-site sports fields so the school can, for the first time, have its own pitches to deliver outdoor activities for pupils.

Mayor Joe Anderson said: “I am delighted that we have been able to identify a suitable site for ArchbishopBlanchHigh School.  The investment in the area will act as a catalyst for strengthening the local community and supporting local businesses.

“The pupils and staff deserve a new building to replace their existing facilities which are in need of major investment and updating.

“This is part of my vision to make sure all pupils are taught in top quality buildings and get the best education.”

Headteacher Jane Griffiths said:: “The Mayor’s vision for the relocation area is transformational and I and the school governors are confident that the new school will allow us to continue to provide the top quality education and personal and social development that our students richly deserve.

“Staff will have greatly enhanced facilities for their teaching and the school will be able to build on its excellent reputation for reaching out to the local community, whilst new transport links will ensure accessibility for the whole city.”

“We have always believed that the quality of our school is determined by everyone that we serve rather than merely the buildings.  Nevertheless, our existing building is coming to the end of its useful life and we are delighted to have the opportunity to design a dynamic learning environment essential for the delivery of the 21st Century curriculum.”

 The school will provide education for 900 girls aged 11-16 and have a mixed sixth form.

A previous plan to move the school to a site on Jericho Lane in Otterspool was withdrawn following concerns over traffic.

Subject to planning consent, construction work is expected to start next year.

The city council is committed to making sure that as much of the contract spend as possible goes to local firms to boost employment and training opportunities for local people. Hundreds of apprenticeships are also being created.