Work is underway on new homes for two special schools in Liverpool.
Redbridge High Community Special School is moving from Fazakerley to a new £5 million building on Long Lane, where it will be co-located with Bank View High Special School.
The new £5 million Redbridge site will replace its existing worn out and cramped facilities and allow it to increases places from 90 to 120.
Also on the site will be a new £5 million home for Bank View High Special School, which will support up to 150 pupils.
Bank View is being replaced as part of the Mayor’s £169 million Liverpool Schools Investment Programme, which is seeing at least 12 schools rebuilt or refurbished across the city.
The number of pupils attending special schools in Liverpool has increased by eight percent since 2008, in line with national trends.
Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said: “We have to make sure that the children with the most needs get the best teaching in quality buildings.
“We are responding to the increase in demand by replacing old and worn out facilities with better quality buildings.
“The investment we are making 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.”
Bank View head teacher, Ian Wright, said: “Bank View will have been on the present site for 50 years and is looking forward to moving to the new school with brand new up to date facilities.
“The new build offers areas of enrichment which have not previously been available e.g. sensory rooms; purpose built Sixth Form suite and our very own football pitch!
“The pupils deserve this opportunity and are really excited and will be fully involved with its development. It is nice to see all the hard work of the staff, governors, parents, local authority and Education Funding Agency coming to fruition.”
Redbridge High Head teacher Paul Cronin said: “We are all absolutely delighted that the new school project has now got under way.
“Staff and governors are looking forward to being able to provide our pupils with state of the art facilities they need and deserve to enhance their learning experiences even further.”
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.
As part of the special school places expansion, 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.