A SPECIAL school in Atherton could be set to move location as the building is believed to be ‘no longer fit for purpose’. 

Wigan Council’s cabinet are set to agree to build a new £4 million school which would remain as Rowan Tree Primary Special School – but move two miles down the road to Leigh.

The idea is to expand the current premises on Green Hall Close by building a new school on the vacant site of the former Our Lady of the Rosary RC School off Heath Lane in Leigh.

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According to the cabinet report, the school’s main building is a timber framed building that has significantly exceeded its design life. 

The timber frame is starting to rot at the base and a number of timber columns are rotten. Monitoring is ongoing and some temporary repairs have been carried out to ensure the existing building remains safe to occupy.

“The risks for not agreeing the work are that our children continue to be educated in buildings that are no longer fit for purpose and may eventually present a health and safety risk,” the report said.

“If we do not enlarge the school we risk sending more children out of the borough where costs will escalate, putting an already overspent budget (High Needs Block) under further pressure.”

The proposal is to relocate the school to a bigger, more central site that is easier for Wigan children to access. The idea of changing location also benefits the students, in the council’s eyes, as construction could be disruptive for their education. 

This move would see the intake at Rowan Tree Primary School expand from 117 to 154 and address the growing demand for SEND places. A consultation period where locals and parents would be asked about the plans – if the cabinet approves the decision.

Wigan’s council bosses will meet in the town hall on Thursday, August 3, to decide.