Manchester City Council

£3.15M project doubles outstanding school's capacity

A Beswick school is set to double its number of students with the completion of a £3.15M building project that has just opened its doors to pupils.

The completed building work means Ashbury Meadow Primary School - recently ranked Outstanding in all areas by Ofsted - will eventually be able to accommodate up to 472 children. 

The new two storey extension houses an open plan early years foundation unit and studio on the ground floor, and four classrooms and additional smaller learning spaces for individual or group work on the first floor. 

Outside, new hard and soft play spaces and child-friendly landscaped areas have been created to encourage further learning through outdoor play. 

The new extension is linked to the original school building by a covered walkway between the two.

The building work has been funded by the city council through its Basic Need funding allocation from the Government, after a need for more school places in the local area was identified in 2013. 

The school's capacity was duly increased in September 2013 from one form of entry to two, allowing an extra 30 pupils to join the school's entry class each year. The initial increase in pupil numbers was managed within the existing school and later supplemented by temporary accommodation, pending completion of the new extension.

Consultations were held between the school, the council and local residents to determine the design of the school’s new extension before construction company Laing O’Rourke started work on the project.

The finished project sees the capacity of the main school increase from 210 to 420 pupils, with a 52 place nursery accommodated within the new early years provision.

Lucy Thomas, Headteacher at Ashbury Primary School, said: “We're delighted to be able to welcome a growing number of students to our school. Pupils at our school benefit from a first class education supported now by a first class learning environment, both indoors and outdoors, within the heart of our growing community."

With more families choosing to live and work in the city, the new extension at the school will help meet the increasing demand for school places in Manchester. 

Councillor Rosa Battle, Manchester City Council’s lead member for schools, went along to the school to see the new extension for herself and to join pupils at its official opening.

She said: “This fantastic extension provides an already outstanding school with some really top class new facilities. The increased capacity will allow a greater number of pupils to thrive in the school’s high quality environment. 

“We're very proud of our schools in Manchester and projects like this form part of our long term goal which is to continue to provide our youngsters with places in the best schools possible, schools which help develop and inspire the next generation to reach their full potential. “ 

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