Broadgreen International School

Broadgreen International School is situated a couple of miles from Liverpool city centre, with a wide catchment area of over 52 primary schools

As an International School delivering the International Baccalaureate the school also host some international students. 58% students are eligible for free school meals, and there are some areas of significant deprivation in the local community. Broadgreen International is also a Resource School for the physically disabled and profoundly deaf and from September 2013 also for the visually impaired. Over 30% of students are on the special needs register.

We offer a personalised service to our community groups

The school have a history of working with the community, and facility use was originally based upon individual requests from community groups. Between 2003 and 2006, the school underwent a new build and refurbishment programme and became a PFI school. The Facility Management contract with the PFI provider, (formerly) Jarvis, included community use. The agreement stated that any current community use would be ring-fenced, and Jarvis would then be responsible for developing new activities to generate income (with a 50-50 share of any profits with the school). However, Broadgreen International School were disappointed as Jarvis did not take up this opportunity, so in 2007 there was an opportunity to change this arrangement during the refinancing of the PFI contract. The school then decided to take over the management of community use; however they are still required to contract the FM provider (now Hochtief) to be on site during community use.

Reciprocal arrangement

Now 12 years into a 30 year PFI contract, Broadgreen International School have created a long term relationship with their clubs and community groups. They are open seven days a week and many bookings are based on what they call a ‘reciprocal arrangement’, for example the school don’t charge the local basketball club and in return the club deliver some coaching to students.

Facilities

Sports Hall – 4 Badminton Court sized

Fitness Suite- with own equipment bought with a grant
Dance Studio with mirrors
Two Gymnasia (1 traditional gymnasium with wall bars, and the other a small sports hall)
Performance Hall (used by international families and cultural groups)
25m Indoor Pool - with two hoists and accessible changing
6 sets of changing suites (2 x 16 wet changing for the pool, 2 x 30 main dry changing and 2 x 20 in a separate building, plus individual and accessible changing)
MUGA – currently tarmac (but with aspirations to replace this with a floodlit All Weather Pitch to free up the indoor spaces for other sports apart from football)

Bistro – currently only open two evenings a week to coincide with adult learning sessions. The Bistro is run by Hochtief, but the school are currently looking into a profit share arrangement and increasing the opening hours as they believe they have the number of users to make it worthwhile.

Classrooms, ICT suites and music rooms are also used for adult learning activities.

Types of community users

Community users comprise only of organised groups or clubs such as Badminton, Basketball and Junior Football Clubs.

The pool is used by a Beginners Swimming Club every Saturday and Sunday whose members range from 2 to 91 years of age.
The school also host a Canoe Club (which targets 14-25 year olds) and provide storage free of charge; in return the club allow the school to share their equipment.

The swimming pool is used seven days a week by clubs and the community. The pool is an accredited centre for life guard training and every year a number of sixth form students undergo the intensive pool lifeguard course, this not only enables them to have a real skill and employability prospects, but also enables the school to provide qualified lifeguards to support their primary schools, clubs and community users.

As a Resource School there are a range of accessible activities that take place including wheelchair dance and basketball, swimming, archery and a signing choir. 

Management model

Broadgreen International School now manage community use in-house in a style that is very personal. Prospective clubs/ groups are shown around the facilities, they take part in an induction process and the school then discuss how they can work with the club to develop together. This process is managed by Chris Foss, the Director of Community Affairs who is also part of the Senior Management Team. Chris is supported by an Administrator who raises invoices, deals with tenancy agreements, insurance and CRB checks etc.

“We had to play hard ball with our FM provider”

The school are charged by Hochtief, their FM provider, for caretaking and cleaning staff during community hours. The Director of Community Affairs underwent a rigorous negotiation process to secure an arrangement with Hochtief that enabled community use to be financially viable.

At an operational level there are two caretakers working on an evening, one dealing with third party use and the other carrying out general caretaking duties. However, the school do not pay extra for all of the community use caretaking hours, as the staff also work on their core caretaking duties during these evening periods such as changing light bulbs, emptying bins etc.

Cleaners carry out a minor clean of the toilets, the sports hall etc at 4pm, but now do their main cleaning first thing in the morning before the students arrive. Again this reduces the costs of paying for too many extra cleaning hours outside of the school PFI contract.

Making it work

Policies

Broadgreen International School only offer use of their facilities to organised groups who are willing to sign up to a tenancy agreement - this reduces the risk for the FM provider. This is excluding the school summer camps, but they are supervised by members of staff. Clubs using the school facilities have to sign up to a third party agreement (see Resource Bank), and are required to provide their own insurance. If the club involves junior teams all coaches must be CRB checked. The clubs and groups have formed long term relationships with the school, and therefore there are no issues of damage to the facilities and no problems receiving payments.

Public Relations

Local residents initially did not like the increased use of the school, which is situated in a built up residential area. However, through the local authority, they were able to fund some events specifically for local residents such as dance classes and use of the ICT suite and this worked well to get local residents support. During the last royal wedding the residents even organised their own community event on the school site.

Design

The majority of the sports facilities are in a building separate from the main school which enables the school to zone the heating, lighting and security. The school do not provide lockers for community users, but there is only one club using a changing suite at any one time.

Financials

The income from community use more than covers the FM costs and the school are able to make a profit.

“We are supporting families to get fitter and healthier”

However the school are currently reviewing their charging policy, as they can no longer rely on grants from the local authority to subsidise some of the activities and ensure they are accessible to target groups. One solution they are looking at is timetabling more than one activity/club at the same time to reduce staffing and utility costs.

Main Challenges

  • The PFI FM contract has been a huge challenge, but the Director of Community Affairs is now in a position to advise other PFI schools on the negotiation process.
  • Winning support from local residents was difficult, and the next challenge will be getting planning approved for a 3G pitch on the existing MUGA.
  • An ongoing challenge is how to sustain current community use alongside developing new relationships.

Benefits

The relationship with clubs contributes to and promotes community cohesion. Pupil intake has also benefitted – numbers are buoyant at the school even though there are falling rolls across Liverpool (this is helped by the summer and half term camps).

The reciprocal arrangement with clubs means students benefit from support from clubs during the curriculum and after school – for example students are offered a qualified diving course free of charge.
Community use at the school contributes to fitter and healthier families and communities, for example a parent might participate in a cookery course, their son or daughter might be in the Junior Football Club and sibling or second parent play in the badminton club.

Top Tips

1) Get your residents on board, there might be some initial resistance but offer them a sweetener.
2) If you are a PFI school – don’t be afraid of negotiating hard.
3) Get the model right regarding insurance, agreements etc. (see Resource Bank)

Contact details

Chris Foss – Director of Community Affairs
Email: chris.foss@broadgreeninternationalschool.com
www.broadgreeninternationalschool.com

School Profile

Type: Voluntary Aided School Gender: Boys (with mixed sixth form)
Age range: 11-18 Size: 1394 with Community Users: 76,000 per year (approx.)
Religious character: Roman Catholic Location: Inner City, West Derby, Liverpool
Management Model: Direct Management by School (Fitness Suite managed by local authority)