SEND school installation completed in 19 days

  • 16th May 2024

70 modules were installed over 19 days

Portakabin has installed a 70-module complex for Co-op Academy Brierley in Leeds, with installation complete in under three weeks.

Following a successful bid to the Department for Education in 2019, Leeds City Council announced Co-op Academies Trust as the sponsor of the special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) free school.

The school opened in temporary accommodation at another Co-op Academy Trust site and welcomed 56 children in September 2022.

The new building will house the second cohort of students, an additional 86 children from September this year.

Full capacity of 200 is expected to be reached in 2025.

Portakabin precision engineered the modules, which were designed specifically for Co-op Academies Trust project, at its manufacturing facility in York and transported them less than 35 miles away to the site in Cross Green Road.

Known as ‘Co-op Academy Brierley’, the new SEND school will host 200 students from the ages of 4-16 and will have primary and secondary provision.

Constructed offsite using Modern Methods of Construction (MMC), the school was installed quickly and safely, despite having to manage construction around periods of high wind, with all custom-built modules onsite in less than three weeks.

James Pearson, divisional managing director at Portakabin, said: “Co-op Academy Brierley is one of the projects awarded to us on the DfE’s MMC framework.

“Despite the inclement weather, we were able to successfully deliver and install 70 modules safely in just 19 days, maintaining the agreed contract programme.

Tim Leach, contract manager at Portakabin and Sarah Harridge, headteacher at Co-op Academy Brierley, at the site of the new SEND school

“Particular attention has been paid to preserving existing trees on site, despite the need for extensive sculpting of levels on the site, to achieve the gradients required for compliant access.

“It’s a great pleasure to celebrate the first milestone in this project, which will become an important part of the local community.”

Alongside over 27 classrooms and dedicated teaching space, the completed school will boast extensive minibus drop-off facilities, approximately 130 car parking spaces for staff and visitors, an immersive technology room, and therapy and sensory rooms.

Sarah Harridge, headteacher, said: “The pace that our new school was built was nothing short of spectacular.

“This new school will give children with special needs in Leeds a state-of-the-art, custom-built provision with their needs at the heart of every decision made in the build process.”

Vicki England, Co-op Academy project manager, added: “This project has been very smooth and has remained on budget throughout, which is of course very important when we’re working with Department for Education budgets.”

Keep Updated

Sign up to our weekly property newsletter to receive the latest news.