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:

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Questions for Bristol City Council

Bristol’s four MPs and Bristol City Council cabinet member for Children and Young People, Clare Campion-Smith met with Education Minister Nick Gibb on Tuesday 11 October to discuss the need for extra funding for Bristol. On 3rd November, the Government announced that Bristol City Council will receive £18.3 million additional capital funding this financial year to create new primary school places. On 15 December, the Council will announce how the money will be spent, and we will have a clearer idea of what improvements will be planned for BS3. For more information see the Related Press section.

On 22nd November representatives from the South Bristol Schools Campaign will meet with Craig Bolt at Bristol City Council to discuss what the next steps will be. Please email us with any additional questions to those outlined below by 15th November.

>What is the current projected lack of provision in September 2012 in Bristol and more importantly in BS3?
>How reliable is the data that you're basing the funding distribution on?
>What percentage of the funding is for primary provision in the city and BS3? Is this funding just for capital expenditure, i.e. buildings and infrastructure?
>What budget does the Council have in place without any of this £500m Government funding? What primary school provision will this provide in BS3?
>Now that the Government funding distribution has been announced; how long will it take to decide where the funding will be deployed?
>What distance does the Council consider acceptable for primary school children to travel to school?
>Is the BS3 area the council's number one priority for providing funding and thus new provision in 2012?
>How long does it take to build a new school or add an annex to an existing school?
>What happens beyond 2012, are there plans to keep adding temporary infrastructure or solutions, or will there be a new school building the area? If a new school, what number form entry?
>If a new school was built, would admissions criteria be altered for the school to ensure it captured children in the 'black holes'? For example would it have a geographically eccentric catchment, or a geographically displaced catchment?
>What plans are in place to support the evidential rise in secondary school places in the forthcoming years?
>What schools are involved in finding a solution? Why have some schools not yet been approached?
>Who instigates the process of exploring school expansion, the school or LA?
>Is there anything we can do to help in terms of bringing schools (who are not on board) on board with trying to resolve the issue.
> What is your strategy for finding potential annexing opportunities?
> What is the plan long term? Have efforts been equally split between short term and long term solutions?
>What advice can the council give to parents regarding choosing their three schools for the application? Do we simply put the schools down we'd like our children to go to that are local, or do we need to be more strategic and factor in which schools might be oversubscribed?
>It's great news that extra funding has been secured and some of the pressure will be off for this year. Will any of this money be put aside for NEXT year's intake (2013)?


  1. Thanks for this. A couple of extra questions for consideration (apologies if they're implicit in your original questions):

    - Does the council have a 'preferred' school on which to add a proposed annexe, if so which school is it and why?

    - What consultation is planned with parents about the annexing strategy, and when and how will it take place (ie before a proposed annex is announced, or after?)

  2. Thanks for these additional questions, we will take them to the meeting, and post a summary of the discussion.