Midlands contractor G F Tomlinson has been selected by the Department for Education (DfE) to design and build a brand-new facility for the modernisation of Oscott Manor School in Birmingham, as part of the DfE’s Priority School Building Programme.
Oscott Manor School, located in Old Oscott Hill, Birmingham, is a SEND (Special Educational Needs & Disability) secondary school supporting pupils with autism.
Rated ‘Good’ in the most recent Ofsted inspection, the school has outgrown its current building following an increase in the demand for places, and due to site constraints which has meant the current site is too small to develop. This has resulted in the relocation and the construction of a new school at nearby Reservoir Road in Erdington, Birmingham.
Due for completion in winter 2021, the new educational facility will be a community school for 120 young people aged 11-19, with autism as their primary diagnosis. The school will provide educational, health and care plans for each student.
Construction works will involve the demolition of existing buildings at the 2.8 acre Reservoir Road site; the former Bridge SEND School, Fairfield Children’s Home and the Children’s Bungalow, followed by the construction of the new 29,923 sq. ft two-storey modern educational facility with a range of versatile teaching spaces for ICT, design and technology, science and music, as well as general staff facilities, external play areas and associated access roads.
It will also include a multi-use games area (MUGA), a forest school with associated lighting and secure boundaries, staff parking and safe drop off and pick up areas for pupils.
As you enter the site, the school is adjacent to the Elwood Day Centre which will remain open throughout the works, and G F Tomlinson has worked closely with the centre to ensure access will be maintained at all times and there is minimum disruption to service users. Network Rail is situated on the left and residential properties are located to the right and to the rear.
This project will mark the 13th scheme delivered by G F Tomlinson under the DfE framework since 2014 and in line with the organisation’s commitment to social value, the scheme will maximise opportunities for work experience and employment, partnering with local schools, colleges, universities and unemployed residents, through an Employment and Skills Plan, developed in consultation with Birmingham City Council.
Chris Flint, director of G F Tomlinson, said: “We are delighted to be managing the design and build of the new Oscott Manor SEND School, under the DfE framework.
“The building replacement is part of the DfE’s Priority School Building Programme (PSBP) that considers applications from Local Authorities and other agencies to rebuild and refurbish school buildings in the greatest need of repair across the country, and the new building will be constructed by the DfE’s Capital team, which includes G F Tomlinson.
“This scheme adds to our strategic portfolio of projects in the education sector throughout the West Midlands region where we have an established reputation for delivering high quality SEND schools, providing safe and inspiring places for young people to learn and thrive.
“As always, we have focused on the social value of this project, ensuring our dedicated Employment and Skills Plan provides tangible benefits to the community of Erdington and the surrounding areas.”
Head teacher of Oscott Manor School, Victoria Miller, said: “The completion of this carefully designed project will provide a wealth of opportunities for our pupils and enhance their curriculum access, community connections and ability to develop the independent skills that will prepare them for adulthood. We are delighted to be working so closely with the DfE, Bond Bryan Architects and G F Tomlinson to ensure that this project meets the needs of our cohort.”
G F Tomlinson’s design team include Bond Bryan Architects, BSP Consulting for structural and civil engineering services and Anderson Green for mechanical and electrical services.