Feb 092015

A new school being built by Everton FC is now just six weeks from completion.

Everton Free School was visited by shadow health secretary and Blues fan Andy Burnham today as construction workers add the finishing touches.

The Everton Free School first opened in 2012 and is currently based at the City of Liverpool College’s £35m learning exchange centre on Roscoe Street.

The opening of the new Spellow Lane building next month will be the first time it has had its own premises.

Mr Burnham was joined by Walton MP Steve Rotheram and Hillsborough campaigner Jenny Hicks, who did a question-and-answer session with pupils.

The Spellow Lane facility will have room for 200 children aged between 14 and 19 who have either been expelled from their previous schools or are at risk of exclusion.

Principal Philip Duffy said: “We are very near completion now. We want to have students in here after Easter.

“This is an incredible first for Everton – to have a purpose-built free school so close to the ground is really exciting.

“It will be a lift for the whole community on match days and other times of the week.

“It will be a vibrant, exciting school and we are all looking forward to a very profitable future.”

Mr Burnham added: “I’m very proud of what the club are doing.

“It brings together all the fantastic work the club has done in the community over many years.

“With the school being so close to the ground, it will be a fantastic example of what Everton is all about.”

The school was set up under former education secretary Michael Gove’s free school reforms, which allowed non-profit charitable trusts to open their own schools.

The new building will contain a sports hall, drama theatre and a recording studio.

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