Ghost school in Liverpool costs £12k a day to keep closed

The Telegraph is reporting that Parklands High School in Speke, empty since 2014 as there are not enough pupils to keep it open, costs £12,000 a day to keep closed.

Home to everything from science labs to a sports centre, Parklands was mothballed just 10 years after opening because of low pupil numbers.

The school was built using private sector cash, then leased back to the council under a 25-year private finance initiative or PFI.

Liverpool’s… town hall has so far paid off £32m – with…  £58 million still to go. The council is currently paying off £4.3 million a year – equivalent to £12,000 a day – but this bill will increase annually with inflation.

Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson admitted: “It must be the most expensive PFI school in history.”

Though built for up to 900 pupils, Parklands had just 172 when it closed and only 32 per cent of children there achieved five GCSEs. Mayor Anderson… said: “The PFI deal is a millstone round my neck. I have to set aside £4.3 million a year that could be spent on providing services.”

The council has tried to find other organisations to move into the empty building, but so far there has been no interest. It would cost £25 million as a lump sum to buy out of the PFI deal, according to Mayor Anderson – an amount the council simply does not have.

He continued: “This is the Lib Dems’ £100 million legacy. It’s going to cost us £100 million for a building that’s just lying empty.”…

More at Ghost school that costs £12k a day to keep closed

 

Very ironic when, overall, we have a shortage of places but I guess they are only useful when they are in the right locations.

Any additional thoughts or insights?

Please share in the comments or via Twitter…

Are you a trainee teacher, NQT, teacher, headteacher, parent or  just someone who cares about education and has something to get off  your chest in a Schools Improvement Guest Post? Follow this link for more details at the bottom of the page.

Don’t forget you can sign up to receive our daily email bulletin (around 7am) with all the latest schools news stories. Your details will never be given to anyone else and you can unsubscribe at any stage. Just follow this link.

We now have a Facebook page - please click to like!

 

Guest post: Some realistic suggestions for more acceptable primary accountability
Scottish islanders' video protest after council scraps school librarians
Categories: Local authorities and Secondary.

Comments

  1. It wasn’t just a school.  According to Equity Solutions who delivered the PFI contract, the site also had facilities including a library, community centres and a council ‘One Stop Shop’.
    According to a FoI response by Liverpool Council (3 October 2011),the LA owns the freehold for Parklands but not the building; it has a PFI arrangement with Education
    Solutions Speke Ltd who provide the buildings and related facilities management
    services. Liverpool City Council pays a monthly unitary charge to Education
    Solutions Speke Ltd under the PFI arrangement. At the end of the 25 year PFI
    contract (in 2027/28) the title to the property will transfer to Liverpool City
    Council.
    Only 11 years to go then.  https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/speke_resourse_centre#incoming-215020

  2. TW

    Janet2  Oh well, presumably there will be no question of the council having to pay exorbitant fees (as has happened with other such contracts) to obtain routine building maintenance.

Let us know what you think...