Three new schools set to be built

Contracts worth £28 million are set to be awarded for the construction of three new schools in Liverpool as part of Mayor Joe Anderson’s Schools Investment Programme.

A report to the Cabinet on Friday 16 May is recommending that new homes for Northway Primary School in Childwall and New Park Primary School in Kensington are built by Morgan Sindall at a cost of £5.5 million per school, and Willmott Dixon constructs Archbishop Blanch Church of England High School for £17.5 million.

Both primary schools have reached the end of their natural life and are deemed to be unsuited to modern teaching methods, with classrooms that are undersized and insufficient quality space for teaching. Northway is more than 80 years old with the highest backlog of repairs of all primary schools in Liverpool, while New Park does not have a grass playing field at present. Both schools will be rebuilt on the playgrounds of their existing sites.

Archbishop Blanch will move from its old and outdated building on Mount Vernon Road near the city centre to a new purpose-built site on Earle Road, off Smithdown Road in Picton. It has been earmarked because it is in close proximity to the existing school and has good transport links. It will educate 900 girls aged 11-16 and have a mixed sixth form.

Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said: “This is a much-needed investment in three schools which desperately need it and is part of my commitment to deliver at least 12 new schools for pupils in the city.

“The new buildings for will be a tremendous boost for thousands of present and future generations of school children and ensure they get the most out of their learning.

“We are working with construction firms to make sure as much of the money is spent locally as possible and benefits the workforce in the city.”

Archbishop Blanch head teacher Jane Griffiths said: “We are all greatly excited by having the chance to plan a new building from the ground up, enabling us to create a brilliant, modern learning environment for our students.”

It forms part of the £169 million Liverpool Schools Investment Programme, devised as a rescue package following the scrapping of Wave Six of Liverpool’s Building Schools for the Future (BSF) project, and one of the Mayor’s key pledges.

Northway Primary School head teacher Paul Anderson said: “As the plans have progressed for our new school, so the excitement has grown.

“Being actively involved in the process has helped us appreciate that this is a once in a generation opportunity, to make a significant difference for current and future Northway pupils”.

New Park Primary School head teacher Karen Hutchings said: “Every member of our school community is thrilled at the prospect of a new building.

“It really will enhance learning even further and bring our facilities into the 21st century, and all of the children and staff are so excited and can’t wait to watch their new school go up.”

A target has been set for 80 percent of the sub contract spending on the two primary schools to go to Liverpool firms with 95 percent of the budget spent with firms across the city region. For Archbishop Beck, it is hoped 60 percent will be spent in Liverpool and 70 percent in the wider area.

Work will start later this year on all three schools and they are expected to open in September 2015.

A separate report to the Cabinet updating progress on the Schools Investment Programme shows that 10 of the schools will either be completed or on site by September 2014 and 111 apprenticeships have been created so far.