Expansion of Firs Primary School

Closed 6 Jul 2021

Opened 22 Jun 2021

Overview

On 25 January 2021, Trafford’s Executive approved a proposal to expand Firs Primary School from the current 2 forms of entry (60 pupils in each group) to 3 forms of entry (90 pupils in each year group). 

The decision was published on Trafford’s website on 26th January and became effective on 3rd February 2021.  The Council held preliminary discussions with the School and its Board of Governors and then representatives from the School joined with Council Officers to consider submissions from 5 contractors before appointing Conlon Construction and their associated architects, Bowker Sadler. 

Consultation between the School and the Council then began to develop the proposal.  A series of meetings has been held to allow the School, and its staff, to participate in developing the proposal alongside Councillors, Council Officers and the appointed Design and Build Contractor.  Members of staff at the school have been consulted and invited to submit any questions or comments. 

Neighbouring primary schools have also been briefed on the proposal and any comments received will be considered at the end of this stage of informal consultation.

As part of the informal consultation process you are invited to comment on the proposed plans detailed below. Comments should be submitted by 6th July 2021.

Original plans were to invite stakeholders to the school on Tuesday 22nd June 2021 but after the government’s announcement on Monday 14th June to extend current rules around social distancing for another 4 weeks, the consultation has been moved online.

The school currently admits 2 forms of entry (60 pupils) in each year group, 420 pupils in total as well as a 26 place FTE (full time equivalent) Nursery and a 10 place Small Specialist Class (SSC). The plan is to expand the school to 3 FE or 90 pupils in each year group (Reception to Year 6) 630 pupils in total. There is also a proposal to increase the capacity of the SSC space.

The proposed expansion of Firs Primary will, in the first instance, consolidate the 10 emergency places already allocated in the 2020 reception class and will provide places to meet the increasing demand for places in upper year groups in the Sale West area where every school is currently full in the 2020 Reception, Year 2, Year 4 and Year 5 cohorts. 

Ultimately the proposal will meet the future demand brought about by the proposed redevelopment of the Sale West estate which falls within the Firs catchment area. 

The School, rated outstanding by Ofsted, is centrally placed within the Sale West area and is located on a public transport route which allows direct transport from Sale East and West Timperley, to the School. 

This means that, in addition to ensuring places for children living in the Firs catchment area and the joint Firs/Woodheys catchment area, in year applicants from other parts of Sale and Timperley can be accommodated within the requirements of reasonable travel times. 

The School’s site has the capacity to accommodate additional buildings and an expansion would enable the removal of a temporary building which is currently being used to accommodate permanent provision.

Why we are consulting

The Proposal

If the proposal goes ahead, one additional temporary classroom will be required from September 2021 which is planned to be located near the front of the school, next to the current Nursery.

The new block is proposed to sit on the site of the current double mobile at the back of the school, therefore two temporary classrooms will also need to be located on the Junior playground.

The new accommodation will consist of 12 new classrooms arranged in a two storey block to minimize the impact on external play spaces and a studio attached to the current dining room to allow for flexible use of this space.

This will enable reorganisation of existing spaces within the school to allow for a new food technology space, a larger staffroom, a larger SSC space, increased office accommodation and increased intervention spaces.

Externally the staff car park will be expanded with a further 16 spaces, the playground will be extended and trim trails will be relocated.

Once the construction is complete the single temporary classroom will convert to a permanent Nursery provision whilst the former Nursery becomes the third Reception classroom. Other classes will be arranged in clusters of three to enable year groups to share resources.

Proposed Timeline

Invitation to view plans: 22 June 2021

Proposed planning application submission: end of June 2021

Start of construction subject to planning approval: Autumn 2021

New building planned to open: September 2022

Proposed Plans

Please click below to view each of the following plans;

Plan 1 – proposed site plan

Shows the location of the temporary classrooms, the new block, the studio and new nursery building as well as the revised internal layout. The solid red line outlines the new blocks and the dotted red line shows the footprint of the former double mobile classroom.

Plan 2 – proposed new block ground and first floor plan

Details the layout of the additional classrooms and associated spaces in the new two storey block.

Plan 3 – proposed scope of works to existing school

This plan shows the extent of the remodeling or refurbishment works to existing spaces to allow the school to function as a three form entry school.

Plan 4 – proposed elevations plan

This plan details the elevations of the new block from different angles showing proposed materials, relative height and scale.

If you would like to express your views on the plans, please complete this survey or email school.admissions@trafford.gov.uk

Alternatively you can write to Marilyn Golding, School Admissions, Trafford Council, Waterside House, Sale M33 7ZF.

Comments should be submitted by 6th July.

There will be another opportunity to formally comment on the proposed plans when they are submitted via the planning portal.