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, 22 March 2013

Southville primary to expand from 2015

The following resolution was agreed by a unanimous vote at the Full Governing Body of Southville Primary School at their meeting on 20th March 2013:

The Governors of Southville Primary School agree in principle to proceed to the feasibility stage of expansion of Southville Primary School to a three-form entry school across two sites. The composition of the classroom split across the two sites is yet to be decided at a future governing body meeting.

As part of this decision, governors seek a written commitment from the local authority that:
1. A safe route is created between the two sites that is acceptable to the school. This should include the exploration of a cut-through link at the Windsor house site, the creation of a safe crossing on North Street, and the prohibition of loading and unloading at the Tesco supermarket on North Street at the start and finish of the school day.
2. There will be sufficient financial support for cover for Senior Leadership and administrative staff, according to a costed plan, to enable a smooth transition for school expansion and to ensure that there is no detrimental effect on current provision.
3. Current commitments by Bristol City Council to improve the playground on the Stackpool Road site are honoured.

2013 update: Ashton Gate bulge class

The Council has issued an update on Reception places for 2013 including its intention for a bulge class at Ashton Gate primary school (an intake of 90 instead of 60). These extra places will be included in the allocations to be made on April 19th. 
It is worth clarifying however that the bulge class is conditional on the buildings actually being available in time for September.
Ashton Gate head of governors writes: "We will agree to admit additional classes only as availability of the facilities becomes certain beyond a reasonable doubt".

Received today from the Council

Primary School Places in Greater Bedminster
September 2013

There will be 360 Reception places available at schools within the Greater Bedminster Neighbourhood Partnership Area for September 2013. Just less than 350 on-time applications were received. There are therefore enough places to ensure every child living within the area can be offered a place at a local school.

Ashton Gate Primary
30 additional places (meaning a total of 90) will be provided using a temporary building to be located on the car park of the Imperial Tobacco offices on Upton Road. A suitably sized area of the car park will be completely separated to provide space for the necessary classrooms and ancillary spaces and to provide adequate outside space for 90 Reception age children. The necessary planning application was submitted on 15th March and an order has been placed with Portakabin for the building. The application is due to appear on the planning application page of the City Council website on Friday 22nd March.

Compass Point: South Street Primary School
Compass Point will again offer 60 places. The programme of refurbishment and extension to enable the school to grow to a full two form entry school is progressing on budget and on schedule.

Luckwell Primary School
A detailed programme of works to adapt the library space into a classroom is being agreed with the school. This will enable the school to admit an additional 30 pupils in September 2013, giving a total of 60 Reception places.

Southville Primary School
The school is currently consulting parents on plans to expand using new facilities to be provided by September 2015 on the site of the former Hayleigh Elderly Persons Home.

Summary of Places Available for September
The total number of Reception places to be allocated for September 2013 at each of the schools in the area is as follows:

Ashton Gate Primary 90
Ashton Vale Primary 30
Compass Point: South Street Primary 60
Holy Cross Catholic Primary 30
Luckwell Primary 60
Parson Street Primary 60
Southville Primary 30

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Consultation on Southville primary expansion

Southville primary school is inviting prospective parents and the community to take part in a consultation. Letter from the Head:
Southville Primary School
Consultation about expansion from one form of entry to three forms of entry in 2015

Bristol City Council and Southville Primary Governors have held discussions about the possibility of increasing the size of the school to provide three forms of entry for Reception age children in September 2015 to help to address the need for places in the area.

Their proposal is that Southville Primary School takes over a new building as additional accomodation on the Myrtle Triangle, where Hayleigh House currently stands. This means that the school would operate across two sites.

Several options for organising two sites were considered and it was decided that the most manageable option would be to have children from Nursery to Year 3 on the new purpose built site and Years 4 to 6 on the current site. Our lovely old building has undergone some refurbishment in the last few years and there are plans to improve the outside area as soon as planning permission is granted, however this site is too small to add any more classrooms.

Information made available to parents and carers at a meeting on 6th March 2013 can be found on the school blog:
There will be a further informal meeting at the school for anyone interested in finding out more or in asking questions about expansion on Monday 18th March between 7 – 8.30 pm.

The Governors are aware of their responsibilities to the school in considering implementing change, and to the local community in adding to the current provision to provide additional places for local children. However they would like to hear the views, supportive or otherwise, of as many people as possible before making a decision on 20th March.

If you can help us in our decision making process by making a comment please e-mail: or contact the Headteacher at Southville Primary School, Merrywood Road, Bristol BS3 1EB.

Monday, 4 March 2013

Bulge news

Southville Primary announced today that it would not be able take a bulge class in September 2013 as it was not possible to secure the extra space nearby that would have been necessary. So Southville will only have one Reception class in September. However it is continuing to consider long term expansion to three-form entry by taking on the Myrtle Triangle site as an annex from 2015.

Meanwhile, Luckwell primary school has agreed to take a bulge Reception class this coming September. This will be accommodated on site. The agreement was made on the proviso that it shouldn't compromise the quality of education that the school offers, nor should the building work cause any more disruption than is absolutely necessary. The agreement is for one year only and there is no plan to expand to two-form entry.

This means that two bulge classes (Compass Point and Luckwell) have now been secured for September out of the three that the area needs. The third should be announced soon.