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Issue Date:- 8 September 2008

£16 million revamp for primary schools

4 Liverpool schools are set to be reborn as the city’s multi-million pound primary rebuilding programme gets underway.

The city council’s executive board is being asked on Friday, 12 September 2008, to give the green light for brand new, 21st century buildings for Croxteth, Hope Valley, Breckfield and Faith primary schools.  It is the first phase of the government’s primary capital programme, which aims to rebuild, re-model or re-furbish at least 47 Liverpool primary schools over the next 15 years.

The initial £16m of funding - over the next 2 years - will pave the way for a brand new Croxteth Primary School, the federation of Hope Valley and Breckfield Community Schools in a new-build school and the re-building of Faith Primary School in Everton.

The council’s executive member for education, Councillor Keith Turner, said:- “Investing in the future of education in Liverpool is a major priority for us, particularly those schools in particularly poor condition and in areas of significant deprivation.  Our plans for brand new primary school buildings in the Croxteth, Breckfield and Everton wards of the city will breathe new life into education in these areas and contribute to their overall regeneration.  Despite replacing or refurbishing our most rundown primary schools over the last few years, we still have too many surplus places and too many children being taught in buildings which aren’t suitable for 21st century learning.  We have made excellent progress in driving up standards in the last few years and this project will help raise attainment even more.  Viable schools in most need will be rebuilt or refurbished, but in future phases there is a possibility we will have to look at amalgamation or even closure.  We are absolutely committed to making sure every child in Liverpool gets the best possible start in life and education is a key part of that.”

In order to qualify for the funding, the council has had to submit a detailed review to the government of primary school provision across the city.  The government is not willing to give money to schools that are not sustainable in the long term, and expects Liverpool to reduce the number of surplus places in the city before funds are released.  It also requires the city to reduce its primary surplus places from 13% to 10% by 2013.  The city council has consulted widely since June on the first phase of review with parents, staff, pupils and governors, as well as the wider community, the diocese and archdiocese and other interested parties.  In addition to recommending The Phase One review also recommends that no action needs to be taken at the following primary schools:-

• Holy Cross Catholic School
• Kirkdale St Lawrence Primary School
• The Trinity Catholic Primary School
• St John’s Catholic Primary School
• Whitefield Community Primary School
• Our Lady Immaculate Catholic primary School
• The Beacon Primary School
• Emmaus Primary School
• Our Lady and St Swithin’s Catholic Primary School

Liverpool has 134 mainstream primary schools (community and faith) attended by 32,688 children.  As in other cities, Liverpool is experiencing a decline in pupil numbers.  The number has dropped by approximately 1,000 a year over the past ten years.  Although the rate has slowed, the figure is still expected to fall to 30,356 by the year 2013 - a reduction of over 2,000.   The new buildings are expected to open by September 2010.


AS record numbers of new students arrive in Liverpool this year, is studying the 1st thing on their minds?

Whilst meeting new people and socialising is an expected aspect of being a student, excess partying can leave behind more than just a hangover.

Health experts are urging young people to practice safe sex after a study revealed an increase in the number of sexually active young people being diagnosed with mouth cancer.

The Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), which causes cervical cancer, is also thought to be responsible for many cancers in the mouth and throat.

The HPV virus is passed on by having unprotected sex, and many people don’t realise that this also includes oral sex.

A US study of nearly 46,000 cases of oral cancers found that people with 6 or more oral sex partners were 3 times more likely to develop cancer than those who had never had oral sex.

Dr Nigel Carter, chief executive of the British Dental Health Foundation said:- “As young people become more sexually active this link certainly helps to explain the increase in mouth cancer cases in this age group and in particular amongst men.

In the last 10 years the number of young men suffering from mouth cancer has risen by almost a 3rd.  

In the UK mouth cancer kills around 1 in 2 people that develop it.  However, with early detection, survival chances increase to 9 out of 10.

Regular dental visits are vital and people that notice common early symptoms such as ulcers that don’t heal after 3 weeks, lumps and red or white patches in the mouth should book a dentist appointment immediately.”

A recent mouth cancer survey conducted by the British Dental Health Foundation and Medicash has found that 73% of people aged 18 to 30 were unaware that the HPV virus could be transmitted by oral sex.

Nationally almost three quarters of those asked also lacked this knowledge except for in Liverpool where almost half of people knew about the risk.

Sue Weir, chief executive of Liverpool based Medicash says:- “Students want to save money where they can and so going to the dentist can be seen as an unnecessary cost.

Regular dental visits are essential and there are ways, such as having a cash plan, which can make going to the dentist affordable. 

For less than the cost of a drink in a student bar, cash plans can also help students budget for other health costs. 

Knowing you can claim for money towards glasses and contact lenses, and sports massage and physiotherapy can be a helping hand to students.”

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