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, 20 February 2013

Southville considering expansion

Copy of the newsletter Southville Primary school sent out just before half term. 

  6th February 2013
Dear Parents and Carers,

Thank you to everyone who has given us their thoughts on possible future school expansion.

We are sorry that we have not been able to send you more detailed information, but we have been asked to allow the council to complete negotiations with other parties privately before making the options public.

The School Admissions Officer has confirmed, following the deadline for applications, that there will not be enough school places for local children in September 2013 and in the future unless additional accommodation is found.

As Governors are acutely aware of the community’s need for more school places they have examined the options available:

  • stay as we are, a one form entry Primary School on the current site
  • consider adding a new school building a short distance away, which would be completed in 2015. This would mean Southville Primary would remain as one school but operate across two sites and eventually be three forms of entry.

Careful consideration has been given to pros and cons of expansion and we all really want to maintain the special atmosphere we have at Southville Primary School. Parents have told us that they think we have a great school and a harmonious learning environment and in particular, a family/community spirit, a friendly, supportive and caring atmosphere in which children feel safe and opportunities for children of all ages to integrate and build relationships across year groups.

Governors are committed to maintaining the best provision for our pupils and the ethos that makes the school special. The Senior Leadership Team has also discussed this and continues to look at ways in which this might be achieved.

Concerns raised by parents/ carers such as playground space, dropping off siblings, PTA activities and events, After School and Breakfast Club and maintaining the drive to be an outstanding school are all being taken into consideration.

The additional site proposed is already owned by Bristol City Council and architects have confirmed that this piece of land is large enough to increase the size of our school.

The council will continue to look for places for reception children in the local area in 2013 and 2014 as the new building is unlikely to be ready before 2015. 
So what would Southville Primary School look like in the future if we decide to accept these changes?

Governors and staff have explored several options and we will invite you to a meeting soon to share these. The preferred option on leadership, management and educational grounds would be that the current Stackpool site would house Years 4, 5, 6 and a new building would be purpose built for Nursery, Reception and Years 1, 2, 3.

Eventually the school would be arranged as follows:

Stackpool Road site: 
 3x Year 4 classes 
 3xYear 5 classes 
 3xYear 6 classes

 New site
1x Nursery class
3x Reception classes
3x Year 1
3x Year 2
3x Year 3

A provisional date for parents to find out more information and ask questions has been arranged for Wednesday 7th March at 7 pm at school. Governors will be present along with representatives from Bristol City Council.

Yours sincerely,

Richard James
Chair of Governors

Sandie Smith

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