BIRMINGHAM SCHOOLS: Major changes set for three schools
Three Birmingham schools are set to see major changes if approved by the city council next week.
These include £4.9 million of city council funding towards rebuilding a school and increasing capacity at another, while a third is due to become an academy.
Papers to Cabinet – the council’s leadership group of councillors – show community special school Oscott Manor School is set to be rebuilt on a new site.
The project is part of the Government’s Priority School Building Programme 2, which aims to rebuild or refurbish schools in the worst conditions.
Oscott Manor School is one of 12 Birmingham schools which were successful in securing funding from the programme.
The total cost for the project is £8.5 million of which £1.4 million will be provided by the city council to fund 28 additional places for autistic pupils, subject to approval by Cabinet on April 20.
The school would move from its current site at Old Oscott Hill to a new location at Reservoir Road, Erdington, under the scheme, with pupils remaining at the current school during construction.
Meanwhile, the council is also asked to approve funding of £3.5million to increase the capacity of Holy Trinity Catholic School, a voluntary aided secondary school in Small Heath, from 630 to 755 places.
The funding will allow for the provision of a new sports hall and changing rooms as well as “re-modelling” of existing classrooms, offices and corridors.
It was reported last year the city needs an extra 10,000 secondary school places to be created across all its secondary schools by 2024 due to increased birth rates and families moving into the city.
The report to councillors states: “The local authority is keen to ensure that future places are provided in the areas or schools that they are needed; helping children to attend a good school nearer to home as part of their local community.
“The proposed changes at Holy Trinity are considered appropriate for the current pupils at the school and are part of a programme to enhance the overall school accommodation solution for both the current and future pupils.”
The third school to be considered by councillors on Tuesday is Mayfield School, a community special school in Lozells set to become an academy on June 1 and sponsored by the Education Impact Academy Trust (EIAT).
Cabinet members are asked to note the school will have a deficit balance of around £2 million at the point of conversion “due to the staffing structure and over reliance on agency staff”. This amount will remain with Birmingham City Council.
The school was rated “inadequate” following an Ofsted inspection in 2018 and ordered to become an academy by the Department for Education.
Following a visit in February this year, Ofsted said the school was being given “effective support” by the EIAT.
Words: Mark Cardwell, Local Democracy Reporter
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