Highfurlong School: New expansion plans submitted for Blackpool SEND school

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Cassidy + Ashton’s plans aim to increase the school’s capacity for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

Currently providing education for 111 students, the new building includes six classrooms, a specialist teaching room for teaching practical subjects such as science, food technology and life skills.

Other services include a kitchen with dining and multi-purpose space, toilets and hygiene rooms, as well as a community-oriented café to encourage the local community to engage with the school.

Plans for the new building. In 2021 the school was awarded ‘England’s School of the Year’ and ‘Blackpool Primary School of the Year 2021’ and won the Blackpool Inspirational Teacher of the Year 2021 award.

The planned new building will also provide much-needed facilities to expand the programs and activities the school offers to its students and their families.

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Funded by government funding for New School Places and SEND, the stand-alone extension will double the school’s capacity and connect to the existing school via a covered walkway.

The new building will provide key learning and support environments to build on an exceptional school and ease students’ transition from adolescence to adulthood. In addition to basic learning about indoor and outdoor environments, the cafe and shop will help develop students’ entrepreneurial skills as part of a hands-on curriculum that prepares students for adulthood and gain work experience. .

Highfurlong School is located on the outskirts of Blackpool and provides education to pupils from across the Blackpool, Wyre and Fylde Coast area.

Principal Neill Oldham said: “Following the continued success and national recognition of Highfurlong School, we are delighted that this proposed expansion of the school estate will enable us to provide exceptional education and specialist facilities to more children and families in the region.

“The new building will give us the space we need to continue to grow cautiously and meet the venue demands we have faced over the past three years. Cassidy + Ashton’s designs capture what we need, but also protect green space and established trees so we can still enjoy our outdoor space and learn.

“We are very pleased that the new space will also allow us to integrate the local community with a cafe and gift shop which will provide work experience and employment opportunities for our students as they prepare to leave school. education as young adults.”

Paul Turner, Deputy Headmaster – School Improvement and SEND at Blackpool Council added: “This is a much needed extension to an important school which will enable us to provide quality facilities to meet the needs of its pupils now and to the future”.

“We are very happy to see our plans developing and hope they will take shape on site by the start of the new year.”

Architect Dominic Garret, of Cassidy + Ashton, said: “We are proud to be part of this life changing project which will see the school offer its much sought after specialist facilities to more pupils.

Stephen Knowles, Special Project Manager at Eric Wright Construction, added: “Following approval, work is expected to start at the site in early 2023 and be completed by the end of the year.”

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