South Bristol Schools Crisis

Offers for primary school places have been made for September 2014 and we are delighted that the local schools were able to accommodate all children living in the area. Many families got their first choice. Thank you to the Council and schools for their hard work.

The area now has sufficient reception places for all the children in the area. There has been strong support from the Council, with the acquisition of land for Ashton Gate and Southville to expand, and from the local schools which have expanded or taken on "bulge" classes when needed. There are also plans to create a new school on the caravan site near Spike Island, which should increase choice for BS3 families and help with the lack of places in the Hotwells and Clifton Wood areas.

We continue to monitor these developments and keep the community informed.

South Bristol Schools Campaign is a community-led group initially formed when there was a lack of local school places in BS3. It seems that long term solutions are now in place, so our role will now be limited to liaising with schools and the Council to ensure the delivery of promised new places and new sites, and to share information with the local community.

For the latest information, join the mailing list - this will allow the campaign group to quickly and easily inform and keep track of all those concerned.

You can also email the campaign group:

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Imperial Tobacco planning application

Yesterday the council met to consider the planning application for Ashton Gate primary school's expansion onto the Imperial Tobacco site on Upton road. Today the school wrote:

Planning permission for the Upton Road site has been agreed, apart from the partial road closure of Upton Road.

However the Local Authority recogniseq the need for appropriate traffic calming measures and will work with the school on this.

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Ashton Gate school development plans

The plans for development of the Imperial Tobacco Offices in Upton Road and the refurbishment to this site are now on Bristol City Council’s Planning Portal. The references are:
14/02061/FB - Upton Road site
14/02038/LA – Ashton Gate site

Plans for the Upton Road site include:
- the closure of Upton Road to motor vehicles but 24 hour pedestrian and cycle access is maintained (subject to the approval of the proposal).
- a Year 3 playground in the existing rear yard at the back of the main building, with direct access from the four Y3 classrooms
- part of the building will not be used by the school, and will remain undeveloped, separated from the school by internal walls. This space is accessible from a separate staircase and exit, so that it could be sub-let 

Plans for the Ashton Gate site include:
- bringing all the classrooms down to the ground floor by converting the staff room and library into classrooms, and relocating the staff room and library on the first floor.

To search the Council's website:
The FB Design and Access Statement gives an overview of the whole proposal.

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Some schools news

After a quiet period and while we await allocations of Reception places there is some fresh news.

The Council has announced the opening of a new primary school to be built on the Harbourside next to Spike Island. The news was reported in the Bristol Post:
Bristol Post New-primary-school

The Council told us this would not mean any changes to the plans for Ashton Gate and the Upton Road site.

Meanwhile, the planning application for Southville primary school's expansion onto Myrtle Triangle is now on the Bristol City Planning site. Beware, there are 46 documents!
Planning application Myrtle

If this link no longer works  try
and type 14/01232/F in the search box

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Ashton Gate nursery to remain at Southville Centre next year

Received today from Ashton Gate's Chair of Governors

Latest news on the school expansion / nursery in 2014

Dear Parents and Carers

I have been Chair of Governors for two terms now and am enjoying getting into the role. I want to thank Lloyd Fletcher for all the hard work that he has done over last few years. Lloyd is going to stay on as an Associate Governor until the end of the school year. Thanks are also due to Kitty Fleming (Parent Governor) and Alan Fear (Staff Governor) for their contribution. We are in the process of an election for two new Parent Governors, whom I look forward to meeting in January. If you would like to find out more about what the governors do for the school, please feel free to contact me.

We continue to work with Bristol City Council to deliver the expansion to the school. This expansion will give more local children the chance to go to a nearby school. The new Reception block is working well and I have received positive messages from both staff and parents. We are looking at the plans for the new building which should soon be submitted to the Council’s planning committee.

In parallel with the new Reception block we came to an arrangement with the Southville Centre regarding the Nursery. The governors met on Tuesday when we discussed the arrangements for the Nursery for 2014‐15. It was clear that putting a Nursery class into the existing Reception block would have a significant effect on the quality of the teaching that is being delivered. There would also have been a financial impact on the money that we can spend in the existing school. Consequently, the governors agreed not to re‐open the Nursery in 2014. I am happy to announce that we will be maintaining our Nursery agreement with the Southville Centre for September 2014. We will continue to look at re‐opening the Nursery in September 2015 as part of the wider expansion project. I hope you all have a fantastic Christmas and we will see you all in the New Year.

David Sawyers
Chair of Governors

Monday, 2 December 2013

Update: Southville Primary School 2014 Intake

Below is the most recent letter from Southville Primary School. For the full (easier to read) version, click on the link below. 

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Increased Intake at Southville Primary School for September 2014

Below is a letter issued by Sandie Smith (Southville Primary School Headteacher) on the 18th November 2013 regarding proposals for the expansion of the School for the September 2014 and 2015 intakes.

Dear Parents and Carers,

This letter is to update you on the current position on proposals for the expansion of Southville Primary School.

Governors have spent many hours examining the pros and cons and debating whether or not expansion is the right path to take; last week the Full Governing Body (FGB) decided to agree to the school increasing to three form entry across two sites in September 2015 subject to certain conditions.

Following the feasibility study the school were told that our preferred option would not be possible (younger children on the Myrtle site). However, a horizontal split across the school is still in our opinion the best for the children’s education, leadership and management and retaining the sense of community and school ethos, so it has been decided to reverse the plan and house years 3 to 6 on the new site. This is of course subject to further investigation by the experts.

Bristol City Council have also recently asked the school to consider using the Princess Elizabeth building on the Hayleigh site to accommodate two additional reception classes from September 2014 - 2015. School representatives visited the site and did not feel this was appropriate for the children in reception or any other year group, so we have looked again to see if we can help in some other way. 

As a result of input by a consultant, senior leadership consideration and further in depth discussions, Governors have agreed to allow an intake of 3 reception classes in 2014 on the Merrywood site. The proposal is to: 

  • Resite or close our nursery class (somewhere other than the Myrtle site) use the existing nursery space as a reception class and for additional reception toilets.
  • Return the current reception provision to the original 2 classrooms by separating
  • with sliding doors
  • Increase the learning space in the three classrooms by providing covered areas outside – possibly having a yurt, and canopies/shelters outside the classrooms. We are also looking at the possibility of classroom lofts to increase space inside and further developing the Foundation Stage outside area – advice is being sought on this.

We are aware that parents and carers are anxious about the proposed changes and we understand the conflicting views that a large community is bound to have. However a large number of stakeholders have been very encouraging, believing as we do that the school must do its best to serve the local community if children living in Southville are to be educated near their homes.

We are aware of rumours circulating on this subject but this is the most up to date information; we will keep you informed when there are any further developments.

Yours sincerely,

Sandie Smith


Thursday, 3 October 2013

The outlook for September 2014

Once again, all children in the area were able to go to a local school in September 2013, and we hope next year's applicants will be just as successful.

Applications for Reception are now open, and due by 15th January 2014.
The number of places that currently appear on the Council website for Bristol South in Sept 2014 are:
Ashton Gate: 90
Ashton Vale: 30
Holy Cross: 30
Luckwell: 30
Parson Street: 60
South Street / Compass Point: 60
Southville: 30

This is one class down on 2013/14 as the Luckwell bulge class was a one-off.

Forecast figures for Sept 2014 are up 37 on this year.
The Council are confident that they can make provisions for the shortfall for 2014:
- there are plans for the BS3 area that have yet to be confirmed.
On the periphery:
- a new primary school is due to open on Marksbury road as an academy in Sept 2014 with two forms of entry.
- Cathedral primary school is increasing its intake from 1 to 2 forms of entry. Please note that Cathedral does not give priority to children based on distance from the school.

The Council hope to be able to make these new places public before admissions close.

We will continue to liaise with the Council so as to update the community on how plans are progressing.

Useful links to the admissions website and to the guidebook for parents appear in the post below and in the right hand column. These include detailed information on the criteria used by schools when they are oversubscribed, furthest distance admitted last year and numbers of places.