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New special school to rise from ashes of Manor High fire

By Megan Archer | Wednesbury | Education | Published:

A new special educational needs primary school in Wednesbury will rise from the ashes of buildings destroyed in a blaze.

The aftermath of the fire at the old Manor High School in Wednesbury

The fire at the former Manor High, off Friar Park Road, came only hours after the government announced Sandwell Council had won funding for the primary school, which is hoped to open in September 2021.

At its height, around 50 firefighters fought to contain the blaze, which broke out around midnight on Monday. Three fire engines remained at the scene damping down at 9am on Tuesday.

Watch: Drone captures blaze from above

Drone captures Manor High School fire

West Midlands Fire Service said the blaze caused a three-storey section of the school to collapse.

But council chiefs said plans for the new school for 126 children with physical and learning disabilities will go ahead.

The school closed in 2010 but the site was used by the Phoenix Collegiate, which now is considering a proposal to redevelop another part of the site for residential development.

The blaze started late on Monday evening. Photo: West Midlands Fire Service

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The other part of the land, where the gutted building stood, will be transferred over to the Department for Education for a proposed planning application to build a new 90 place Secondary Special Free School.

Councillor Simon Hackett, cabinet member for children’s services said: “Being a local resident in this area I am all too aware that the derelict school has caused numerous problems for the local community.

“I am excited about the possibility of three developments on this land and the special school for primary children will create much-needed special school places for children from all over Sandwell.”

The scale of the damage was revealed on Tuesday

Education Secretary Damian Hinds said: “We want every school to be a school for children with special educational needs and disabilities.

“But we recognise some children require more specialist support. These new special free schools and alternative provision schools will make sure that more complex needs can be provided to help support every child to have a quality education.”

Megan Archer

By Megan Archer
Deputy Chief Reporter - @MeganA_Star

Deputy Chief Reporter with the Express & Star. Give me a call on 01902 319363 or email megan.archer@expressandstar.co.uk.

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