The Council's Executive has its first meeting of the new municipal year today. It is sheer coincidence that, on the day the front page of the Manchester Evening News is filled with a story about the growing shortage of primary school places across Greater Manchester, we have a report with an innovative proposal to create a new two-form entry primary school and at the same time make better use of an existing building. The building in question is the Abraham Moss centre in my own ward of Crumpsall.
Cheetham and Crumpsall is a part of the city with some of the biggest demand for places, and although Cravenwood and Irk Valley have already been doubled in size, and although the new Pike Fold school under construction is twice the size of the existing school, there still aren't nearly enough places. Much of the original Abraham Moss has now made way for new high school buildings on the site. But the remaining buildings are structurally sound and that gives us the opportunity for a new primary school which will organisationally will be a part of the Abraham Moss School. It won't be the first state-funded all through primary/secondary school in the city - I believe that distinction falls to King David's Schools - also in Crumpsall. However this arrangement allows us to move very quickly to create new places that will be available in September this year, both a lot quicker and a bit cheaper than building a brand new school, and much, much better than using temporary classrooms. It's not the only beneficial change on the site. We plan to co-locate the library with the leisure centre, making better use of that part of the complex, and also bringing the library down to the ground floor. Now all we need is a post-sixteen education and training provider on the site to fill the provision gap identified a few years ago when we carried out a city-wide review of further education.