Major step forward to replace Toxteth school ‘at end of its functional life’

Children at a Liverpool school are a step closer to being moved from school buildings “at the end of their functional life.”

Two years ago it was recommended that a new site be built to rehouse pupils from Princes Primary School in Toxteth.

Documents released by Liverpool Council indicated that despite being safe to use, the existing site was in “very poor condition” and could not be amended with children in attendance.

Subject to cabinet approval, the local authority will soon take a major move forward to create dozens of new places at a new site.

In 2022, an education report identified how more than 4,000 children in Liverpool have educational health care plans (EHCPs), an increase of 46 per cent since 2019. Proposals were put forward to relocate the L8 school to a new site to add a further 60 places alongside the 150 existing pupils with very complex additional needs and disabilities.

Originally, a consultation had sought views on relocating the school almost 30 minutes away to Long Lane in L9 but was disregarded when a plan to relocate north Liverpool students to Speke fell through. As a result, a new site has been established, but has yet to be confirmed.

In June last year, a budget of £1.8m was made available by the council’s cabinet to begin the design and planning works for the new school. When they meet next week, city councillors are expected to agree to proposals to move ahead with the appointment of a consultant to develop the scheme.

The estimated cost of building a new school is £22m. The estimated cost of placing these pupils in alternative independent schools would be an additional £9m per year every year.

Analysis by the council said the school’s existing main site is in a “poor state of repair and cannot be refurbished while the site is in occupation.” Additionally, some key building services are said to have failed and there has been additional expense for the council to keep it open.

Members are also expected to endorse the award of a contract to Avison Young as its strategic property partner in a bid to amend failings around disposals found in the 2021 Caller Report. The terms are worth £1.9m for a period of 36 months.


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