Approval given for additional support school’s new £14m home

Beatlie School in Livingston is to move from its 1960s home to a new purpose-built campus.

Approval given for additional support school’s new £14m home West Lothian Council
Plans: Beatlie School is to move from its 1960s home to a new purpose-built campus.

Beatlie School in Livingston is to move from its 1960s home to a new purpose-built campus.

The £14m new build has been agreed by West Lothian Council’s education executive and will also provide treatment space for NHS services.

Beatlie provides specialist education for pupils aged three to 18 with severe and complex educational support and profound medical needs.

The new purpose-built facility will be a centre of excellence for children and young people, providing cutting-edge educational facilities alongside partner health and wraparound support for children and families.

The NHS Child Development Centre is also located within the Beatlie School Campus and provides assessment and support facilities for families across West Lothian.

Currently housed in a former primary school building in The Mall, the new site on playing fields next to the Craigswood Xcite Centre in Craigshill, Livingston, will provide teaching facilities from nursery through to secondary for pupils in accommodation that is more flexible and suited to modern teaching.

It keeps the school within the area and allows it to maintain the strong links it has developed with local community organisations.

The Xcite site – on Grange Road – is also easily accessible by public transport.

The cost of the new build will be met from the General Services Capital Programme, with additional funding from the Scottish Government and the NHS.

Plans for the new school will include the most up-to-date assistive technology products which are designed to help facilitate greater independence for wheelchair users to explore their surroundings by increasing, maintaining or improving their functional capabilities.

Public consultation began in May last year and included parents and parents’ groups as well as the views of primary and secondary schools in the town.

A parent attending one of the public meetings commented that they welcomed the continuity of education from nursery to secondary in one building.

They went on to add that their child had a positive experience during transition points as a result of this arrangement.

Another parent commented that her child loves water and rebound therapy. She added that the inclusion of the hydrotherapy facility is fantastic and will unlock so much in the children.

The new school could be open as early as August 2023.

By local democracy reporter Stuart Sommerville