Published on Wednesday, 28th February 2018


Work to convert the Vanguard Centre, Cosham to a special school is nearing completion. The £3m scheme was agreed three years ago, following a decision to close two other sites of Harbour School, which is the city’s main special needs school. 


The Fratton site is to the rear of Penhale School. It is a Victorian-era building and it has passed the end of its useful life. It is in very poor condition and is arguably the most rundown building the council owns. Once the new centre opens, it will be demolished and the site sold to help offset some of the cost of the new building.


Meanwhile, the Milton site had to close following an NHS decision to release land at St James’ hospital for housing; the school was within the grounds and NHS Property Services declined to extend the lease.


The new facility will open in September. It will focus on vocational training, with courses such as mechanics or hairdressing for pupils between the ages of 14 and 16 and for whom mainstream educational provision does not work. The Vanguard centre had been used to support adults with physical disabilities but was closed several years ago.


Tags: Schools