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:

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Ashton Gate agrees to expansion

Ashton Gate Primary School
‘Creative thinkers for life’
Ashton Gate Rd♦Ashton Gate♦Bristol BS3 1SZ Headteacher: Mrs S Willson Tel: 0117 9030236♦Fax: 0117 9030237

14th December, 2011

Dear parents and carers,

At last night’s meeting of its Full Governing Body, Ashton Gate’s governors voted to expand our 2012 Reception intake from 2 to 3 forms of entry, enabled by the creation of a Nursery and Reception annex on the St. Francis Church site, on the following basis:

1. An architectural design that meets the requirements of school leadership in terms of safety, access, and flow for children to and from outdoor play areas, taking into account ground levels; and the same for access to the site by parents that minimizes bottlenecks during pick-up and drop-off.
2. The Local Authority to arrange for the supply of hot lunch meals to those children based at the annex site from September 2012.
3. Measures will be put in place to improve the safety of the entire route between the main site and annex, including a suitable formal road crossing that enables large groups of children, families, and staff to cross North Street conveniently and safely.

In addition to meeting the school’s specific design requirements, obviously the Local Authority’s plans for the church site have to go through the usual planning approvals process, as will road safety improvements. We will update you as we receive information in this regard.

School management and governors believe that the Early Years annex approach is, on balance, a real gain for the school: it will create more space on the main site, and would bring Reception and Nursery together as a single operating unit, something we have long wanted to do. And of course, there is the benefit to the community, where 30 more families will now have access to a local school.

It’s worth noting, however, that even though Ashton Gate and Compass Point have agreed to take additional Reception classes in 2012, the forecast was for 98 local children to be unable to find a place at a school within the Greater Bedminster area; between us, we have been able to create space for 60 – about two thirds -- of those. The problem of supplying enough primary school places has not yet been resolved.

Over the coming months, staff will be working on detailed plans for the move to and operation of the annex site. We will provide you more detailed information about how things will work in due course. As for the possibility of further expansion via a new school in our area, we await specific proposals from the Local Authority based on land acquisitions, which are still being explored or negotiated. Again, we will be in touch with you on this front when we know more. Nothing has yet been decided.

Governors would like to again extend their thanks to parents for contributing a wide range of detailed views to this process. We now turn to the expertise and experience of our staff to plan and successfully run the expanded school. We welcome the support of both current and future parents to help make this happen.

Even as we are in a period of growth and change, Governors and staff are confident that we can continue to build on and enhance the qualities that have made Ashton Gate successful in providing a high standard of education – in its broadest sense – for your children.
I wish you an enjoyable holiday season and a prosperous New Year.


Lloyd Fletcher

Chair of Governors
Ashton Gate Primary School

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