The mobile classrooms currently sit at Catherine Infant School, in Ulverscroft Road

Council set to move two classrooms to another school costing £300K

 

A special educational needs school in Leicester is set to receive two mobile classrooms after the city council confirmed it will be relocating them from another school at a cost of over £300K. The Children’s Hospital School, ran by the University Hospitals of Leicester (UHL) NHS Trust, provides education for students who are too ill to attend mainstream school across four bases in the city.

But now one of these bases will be gifted with two new temporary buildings to help combat the increased demand of special educational needs and disability (SEND) school places. Council documents say they will be placed on the playground of Willow Bank School, in Simmins Crescent to allow for 10 additional places to be created.

Currently, the two council-owned modular buildings are located at Catherine Infant School, in Ulverscroft Road and will cost the council up to £314,000 to move them. A spokesperson for Leicester City Council described the temporary classrooms as “high quality and modern” which will be in place for a number of years.

The spokesperson added:

“The quote covers a number of elements including a partial road closure to lift the mobile classrooms onto a flatbed lorry and transport them across the city and preparatory works at the new site – including surveys of existing services to ensure there is sufficient power, drainage, and water supply to support the units in the new location. It also covers the groundworks element to ensure that a suitable, level, foundation is put in place to receive the units.”

According to documents, the council were told by the Department for Education in 2021 the buildings at Catherine Infant School will need to be replaced under the school replacement programme. This is a government scheme launched to give schools cash for much-needed repairs and upgrades, which includes work on roofs, fire safety and electrical systems.

But it was identified during the assessment of the school the mobile classrooms would need to be removed from the site at the council’s expense. It did look at selling them back to the company that supplied them, Britcab, who are now no longer trading making this impossible.

The council therefore identified Willow Bank School to be the best place to re-home the mobile buildings and intends to do this over the summer break. Planning permission will also be required to install the classrooms and the cost of the application is included, a spokesperson confirmed.

They added:

“When permission is obtained, the mobiles will be installed and connected to utilities. A ramp will be built and other measures put in place to ensure the classrooms are fully accessible and meet the needs of all children and adults from the Children’s Hospital School. There will then be an internal re-fit to ensure that the different users of the units can learn in a suitable environment.”

There has been an increasing demand for Year 10 places at the hospital school, documents say, and the council has said the new classrooms will help accommodate this. It will also be used to provide space for an additional early intervention group, increase the capacity to support students during exams who need better access or smaller rooms, free up space for 1 to 1 interviews and possible allow for more pupil spaces next year.

 

Source: Leicester Mercury

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