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:

Friday, 12 October 2012

September 2013: the Council's plans

In September the City of Bristol Council published its School Organisation Strategy in which it presented forecasts for pupil numbers and plans to meet the need for Reception places. South Bristol Schools Campaign were concerned by the shortfall of places for 2013, which stood at 83 based on census estimates, i.e. 3 Reception classes even taking into account the proposed continuation of the extra classes at Ashton Gate and Compass Point. We met Craig Bolt, Ian Bell and Michael Branaghan at the Council on 9th October to express our concerns and hear about plans for the area. Our key questions concerned the shortfall, and the plans in place for September 2013 and long term plans for new schools in the area.

What is the expected shortfall for 2013?
The Council explained that recent figures based on GP registration indicate that the number of children due to start Reception in September 2013 is much lower than the census figures had previously indicated. GP data shows a fall in children coming up to Reception age rather than the increase originally expected: compared to last year's figures there are 4 more children in Bedminster and 26 less in Southville.
In past years the number of Reception places offered in the area have closely matched GP registration figures. Based on these findings the Council are working on the assumption that the same number of Reception classes will be needed in September 2013 as in September 2012.

What are the plans for September 2013?
* Compass Point will have a Reception of 60 places (2 classes), taking on a bulge class for the third year
* negotiations are ongoing with Ashton Gate. The school cannot accommodate another bulge class on its existing site, so the ability to provide an extra Reception class in September 2013 and beyond depends on a suitable site being found elsewhere, with longer term plans to make this expansion sustainable. Various options are being considered for 2013, with a view to providing an early years site for three Reception classes and the Ashton Gate nursery which is being temporarily housed at the Southville Centre.
* Discussions are also underway with another local school to secure an extra class for September 2013.

When will we know what places are available for next year?
The Council's aim is to provide parents with comprehensive information approximately a month before the closing date of applications, in other words by mid-December. The Council are committed to keeping the community informed but are unable to disclose the exact sites under discussion at the present time due to ongoing commercial negotiations and governing bodies' need to consider proposals.

What are the longer term plans for the area?
Compass Point is undertaking work to turn it into a two form of entry school (formally it is still considered as one form though they will be taking a bulge class again this year).
Negotiations are ongoing to secure a site which could either become an annex of an existing school or a new school by 2014.
Myrtle Triangle, currently home to the Hayleigh residential care home which is due to close, is also to become a new school or an annex to an existing school.
Other developments just beyond the limits of our immediate area are also likely to have an impact on places in BS3. These include a new 2 form of entry school opening in 2014 on Marksbury road, and plans for a new school on the Harbourside.

The Council have invited us to meet with them again in early December to update us on the situation.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Reception open day tours

Local schools have put arrangements in place for prospective parents with a child starting Reception in September 2013.

Ashton Gate
parents are invited to phone the school and arrange to be shown round by the Head
0117 903 0236

Ashton Vale
contact the school to be shown around
0117 903 0383

Holy Cross (please book)
Monday 15th October at 9.30
Friday 9th November at 11 am.
Phone 0117 377 2199 to book. More dates will be set up.

Wednesday 17th October 9.30-11.30 and 1.30-3.30
No need to book

Parson Street
Friday 19th October 9.30-11.30am with a talk by the Headteacher at 10.15am
Friday 23rd November 9.30-11.30am with a talk by the Headteacher at 10.15am.
No need to book

South Street Compass Point
Thursday 8th November at 9.30 and 2pm
Wed 21st November at 9.30 and 2pm
Tuesday 4th Dec at 9.30 and 2pm.
No need to book.

Southville (please book, no children):
Tuesday 13th November, 9.30am
Monday 19th November, 9.30am
Monday 3rd December, 9.30am
To book, please phone 0117 377 2671 or email
The school would like to know how many people are coming, request that you do not bring your child with you, and ask for a contact telephone number in case of a last minute cancellation.

Steiner Free School public consultation

Anyone interested in the setting up of a Steiner free school in Bristol is invited to register their interest via the website . 

There will be a Public Consultation at Apple Day at Windmill Hill City Farm on Sunday  the 21st of October