25 May 2024

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In the bustling corridors and behind the scenes, there are dedicated teams who ensure that our school functions smoothly. From managing administrative tasks and keeping our buildings safe and secure, to providing essential classroom support, these unsung heroes play a vital role in creating a positive learning environment at Priory.

In a series of articles, we’ll shine a spotlight on each team as we explore their contributions and learn more about the people who keep our school running seamlessly.  We begin with the Estates Team.

Priory has changed dramatically since it opened in 1953 and over the last 20 years there has been significant investment in its facilities to ensure students have the best environment to learn in. The school has a dedicated Facilities Management Estates Team with individuals who take great pride in their work and have the skills to keep the estate functioning as well as it can for all users of the site. 

Strategic Estates Development Manager, Mr Bolton, who has been at the school for over 22+ years, oversees the Estates and ICT Teams at the school. Mr Wilkinson is the Estates Operational Manager, whose small team works on the site ensuring Priory always looks its best, from classrooms to the school fields. With over 14 years of service, Mr Wilkinson’s role is to co-ordinate its proactive and reactive repairs and maintenance for the site. He has trained as a joiner and plumber and other members of the team also have a varied skillset.

The Estates Team covers everything from keeping the school tidy on a day-to-day basis to maintaining the award-winning gardens that Mr Farron has developed over the years and contribute to everyone’s wellbeing.

With the help of consultants, the school has applied for government grants for new buildings and refurbishments such as the Science Building, Humanities Building and Hex Block. It has also established members of the team to enable the use of the school facilities outside of school hours so the local community can use it for sporting and other community-based activities and events.

The Estates Teams mission statement is: “An estate that gives an exceptional, lasting impression to all users.”

“We take a lot of pride in our work and we expect everything to be done to the highest standard which is why we have an on-site team of six staff who share that ethos,” said Mr Bolton.

“We have found in the past that some contractors don’t always share our values but we care about the site and hopefully that shows. An example of this was the grounds contractor and the school itself now takes responsibility for the groundwork.

“The school has developed a lot over the years and the emphasis is always on creating the best environment for learning.

“We also share our skills, equipment and experience by working with several primary schools in the local area so it benefits everyone.

“In the last 12 months, we have had a grant approved from the Football Foundation for a tractor to help with the maintenance of our grass football pitches. This now means that the estates team can take care of all the grounds work around our site and also work with Penwortham Primary School to look after theirs

“In addition, we applied to the Football Foundation for funding to help maintain the grass pitches for all the junior football clubs that use the school fields. We have been successful in this application and have been awarded some funds to help with this. It’s a six-year plan which includes seeding and other maintenance works throughout this time. This will benefit our pupils and also the grassroots football teams who use our site in the evenings and weekends and so we are giving something back to our community.

“We have other groups and clubs who use our site in out of school hours such as a church groups, martial arts, dance and fitness groups and this allows us to generate a small income that we can use to reinvest in the facilities for the benefit of everyone.

“We have just completed a project to replace all the fire doors on the ground floor in the main school building after receiving government funding. Our next project is to introduce the ‘Priory Pod’ near the 3G pitch which will sit as a takeaway food service for the students, to take the pressure off the dining room service. We are hoping to have this completed by the end of the summer.”


The site of the Priory Pod, a 'grab & go' food outlet due to be completed over the summer.


Tags: Lettings Facilities