Demolition work is proposed on a school site being repurposed to address Liverpool’s special educational needs place issues.
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 has drawn up a plan to create at least 500 new spaces.
As a result, a satellite location for Palmerston School on the existing site on Beaconsfield Road is to be established.
The former school building, which was closed when the new school building opened, would be used for pupils with severe/profound and multiple learning difficulties. The new block will offer a curriculum for students aged 14-19 and an increase in the number of Year 7 pupils on the main site.
It is expected the site will welcome pupils from 1 September, 2024.
As part of the development, proposals have been submitted to Liverpool Council to demolish a vacant area of the school to construct a horticultral area, where children can grow fruit and vegetables to support the development of a lifelong relationship between children and the natural world. A food technology classroom will open onto the horticultural area, where lessons will be linked to the proposed nature garden.
The existing building is single storey with facilities such as classrooms; halls and offices radiating a main circulation and courtyard which is the main central access into the building.
It was revealed in October how the local authority’s cabinet pumped almost £20m into plans to increase funding for a number of revised schemes to ease the burden on school placements. Among the schemes includes the creation of 40 spaces at the current Palmerston School for the start of the new term in September, with a further 75 in a second phase.
An additional £250,000 is to be added to the costs of plans for headteachers and governing bodies of the existing school would remain in place at the satellite locations.
A date has yet to be established for the proposals to go before Liverpool Council’s planning officials for final determination.
Image: The building at Palmerston School to be demolished