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:

Monday, 30 May 2011

Ashton Gate headteacher allays concerns

Sue Willson, Ashton Gate headteacher, has issued two letters to parents concerned about the impact of a bulge class on the school. The letters reiterate the school's position - that our children are part of the community and should be allowed to go to school locally, alongside their friends and neighbours.

Again, we are so grateful to the school for their generosity, humanity and courage in making this difficult decision. The letters are reproduced in full below:

26 May 2011

Dear Parents

“Bulge” Reception Class for September 2011

You will all have received the Chair of Governors parentmail yesterday about the extra class for Reception next year. I understand that you may have some concerns about the impact on space.

We are able to do this because we currently have a spare classroom in Old Chapel Park. This means that one Year 5 class will be in OCP next year. We have had three classes in OCP in the past. Year 5 next year is also a very small year group. Both Year 3 classes will be in the Junior Building. This means that there will be the same number of classes on the main site as this year.

As Lloyd Fletcher made clear in his letter, this was not a decision made lightly and there was a full and frank discussion with Local Authority officers. The Local Authority are also providing an extra small group place and toilets in OCP that will not impinge on play space, as well as adding doorways to enhance communication between Reception classes.

The children who were being sent to schools in Knowle and Hartcliffe live very close to our school, many in roads such as Hamilton, Leighton, Birch, Greville and Ashton Road, children who already attend our Nursery. These are local children and are part of our local community.

I look forward to your continuing support.

Yours sincerely

Sue Willson

27th May 2011

Dear Parents/Carers

Bulge Class Rumours!

It has come to our attention that a number of rumours are currently circulating regarding the location of the new Reception class. The new ‘bulge’ Reception class will be accommodated in the Infant building taking over one of the current Year 1 classrooms (with some modifications). Year 3 will move to the Junior building and a Year 5 class will move to Old Chapel Park. We wish to reassure you that the rumours circulating that children will be taught in the cow sheds, turrets or kitchens are not true!

Playtimes and lunch times will be staggered as necessary to ensure overcrowding is not an issue.

Staff at Ashton Gate would like to thank the parents who have taken the time to email and write expressing their support of the decision to open a new Reception class for the local children. Once again, we thank you for your continuing support.

Yours sincerely

Sue Willson

1 comment:

  1. It's worth pointing out that the response from existing parents has been overwhelmingly positive; even among those expressing some concerns about how the school will operate with 30 more children on an already cramped site, the vast majority think the decision was the right one.

    Naturally, as with any change, there is some uncertainty and anxiety, but school management and governors are confident that the challenges can be met. I would encourage any parents (of current or future pupils) to contact the head teacher or the chair of governors directly to either ask questions, express concerns, or obtain the most accurate information.

    --Lloyd Fletcher (chair of governors, Ashton Gate Primary School)