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: southbristolsc@gmail.com

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Notes from meeting with Craig Bolt (Service Director: Education Strategy and Targeted Support) 22nd November 2011

FUNDING

  • There are three other government funding announcements pending which will influence the provision of extra primary places.
  • A set of announcements about these will be made sometime in December meaning that the 15th December deadline for an announcement re extra school places will, in some cases, be dependant on the timing of these other announcements.

PROJECTED NUMBERS

  • The council would like to provide 3 extra intake forms in 2012 for the Greater Bedminster area to meet the expected rise in number .
  • This is data based upon retrieved Birth data, GP registrations and DFE’s yearly revisions.
  • Beyond 2012 the figures look likely to increase slightly until 2015 where there is expected to be a significant increase.
  • With regards to combating a likely issue with Secondary schools in the near future. The council consider that there is a 2 year window before this needs to be tackled. Though they are considering the issue.
  • Secondary schools face slightly less of an issue as they are not inhibited by infant class size legislation.

SITE AQUISITION

  • The council have looked at 25 sites for consideration of an Annex or new school.
  • The council held a meeting with all the local schools and sent a letter to follow up.
  • Certain sites have been looked into and rejected for various reasons. Faith Space (Opposite Southville Primary ) is one which has been considered.
  • It will not be possible to expand Parson’s Street Primary but the council have not rejected the idea of working with the school in relation to annex provision.
  • 2 sites have been purchased pending contracts (these sites would count as one annex)
  • A number of sites are under offer.

APPLICATIONS

  • There is no possibility of extending the 15th January deadline for school applications.
  • The council aims to be clear about where extra school places will on the 15th December. They will publish this on their website and SBSC will publish on the blog.
  • Craig Bolt said that the council can not advise parents on how to order preferences on the application.

LOCAL SCHOOLS

  • The council are aware of the forthcoming meeting on 24th Nov at Ashton Gate and Mick Branaghan will be there to represent them.
  • The council are in positive discussions with Ashton Gate and are working with them to finalise part of a solution for 2012.
  • Another local school has agreed, in principal to including an extra form intake.
  • SBSC will follow up on suggestions that the council talk to Southville Primary about what, if anything, they could do to help as they would service one of the areas “Black Holes”.

SUMMARY

The council are confident that 2 additional reception classes will be found for 2012 and are hopeful that another form will be found. Though there is still a risk that some children will be offered places outside of our local area if not.

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