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:

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

2014 and beyond

We are delighted that the local schools have been able to accommodate all children living in the area who are starting school in September.
The long term plans for the area should enable all local children to go to school within the community. While this is very welcome news, these solutions will not be in place before 2015.
This means that there will be one if not two fewer Reception classes in September 2014: the Luckwell bulge class is for one year only, and Ashton Gate may need to reduce to two instead of three classes (see details below).

Ashton Gate

2013: Three reception classes on half of the Imperial Tobacco car park site on Upton Road.
The nursery remains at the Southville Centre.

2014: The school will decide whether to bring the nursery onto the Upton Road site or to leave it at the Southville Centre.
The school may need to reduce its intake to two Reception classes in September 2014 if the new site is unlikely to be ready by 2015. Otherwise there would not be enough room to accommodate the 2014 Reception children on the Ashton Gate site once they moved up to Year 1 one year later.

2015: Four-form entry, with nursery, Reception-Year 2 on the existing site, Year 3 to Year 6 on the new Upton Road site

Compass Point / South Street
2013 onwards: the school is now a two-form entry school. Building work is being undertaken to provide space for the new classes and for the children's services.

2013: bulge class taking the school to two form-entry for one year only (the children in the bulge class will of course remain in the school throughout their primary years)
2014: back to one form of entry as there is no space on the site of another class

Southville Primary
2013: one Reception class
2014: one Reception class
2015: expansion (subject to conditions) to include the Myrtle Triangle site.
Southville Primary school has been considering two options for expansion:

1) A single form entry school on the (existing) Stackpool Road site and two form entry on the Myrtle Triangle (from 2015), creating two vertically grouped schools (Reception to Year 6) or
2) Years 4,5,6 on the Stackpool Road site and Nursery to year 3 on the Myrtle Triangle site.

Governors considered this very carefully, taking into account strongly expressed views about the advantages and disadvantages of both options. Governors voted by a majority of 11 to 1 for the second option.
The local authority are exploring how to make access as safe as possible between the two sites.

The other schools in the area are not currently affected by any changes to their intake.

If your child is starting school in 2014 or later and you would like to get involved with the campaign group, email us at

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

2013 allocations: crunching the figures

 The Council has published this year's figures for the first round of allocations at oversubscribed schools.

Ashton Gate (90 places)         
2013       35 siblings and  0.879 km (plus 2 children in care)
2012       40 siblings and 0.455 km
2011       0.377 km (pre-bulge)
2010       0.673 km

Ashton Vale (30 places)
2013       15 siblings and 1.040 km  (plus 1 special needs)
2012       Not oversubscribed in first round but places taken up in second round and meterage 0.405
2011       0.890 km

Luckwell (60 with bulge)
2013       Not oversubscribed in 1st round
2012       18 siblings and 0.240 km   
2011       0.410 km

Parson Street (60 places)
2013       25 siblings and 0.621 km (plus 1 special needs and 1 care)
2012       31 siblings and 0.699 km
2011       2.720 km

Southville (30 places)
2013       17 siblings and 0.223 km
2012       1.231 (post bulge)
2011       0.187 km
2010       0.380 km

Compass Point and Luckwell were not oversubscribed this year in the first round of allocations.

Holy Cross was not oversubscribed in the first round, 27 offers were made but there are late applicants on the waiting list for the second round

The full information is on the Council website:

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Ashton Gate and Imperial Tobacco

Received today from Ashton Gate Primary School

18th April 2013
Re: Update on Ashton Gate’s expansion

Dear parents and carers,
I’m pleased to tell you that the Local Authority (LA) has now completed the purchase of property that can be used for the expansion of Ashton Gate. The acquisition of the Imperial Tobacco office building and car park will enable:
(1) A temporary annex installed on the car park to provide three forms of Reception entry (3FE) from
September 2013 (as reported to you in my letter of 22nd March).
(2) A new permanent school facility on Upton Road, through refurbishment of the Imperial office building and car park; this would enable a potential 4FE Reception entry from September 2015.
If everything proceeds according to the current plan, then the school would expand to 4FE, operating over a split site, as outlined in my letter to you in December. Specifically, from September 2015, the school would be structured as follows:

On the current Ashton Gate Road site: Early Years/Foundation Stage (EYFS) and Key Stage 1 (i.e., Nursery, Reception, Year 1, and Year 2),. The number of children on these premises will gradually expand to 4 classes in of the three year groups, eventually giving us 12 classes on the site (compared to 14 for a 2FE Primary school). (Governors have yet to decide if or when Nursery will be re-established after 2013, and we will keep you updated on this.)

At the new premises on Upton Road: Key Stage 2; by this time Years 3 and 4 will have 3 classes each. As the September 2015 intake of 4FE moves up through the school, the number of children at this site would expand to 4 classes in each of the four year groups: i.e., eventually, 16 classes in total, compared to 14 for a 2FE primary school. The Imperial building offers substantial space, and opportunities to create an excellent new teaching and learning environment. Although located a couple of blocks away, EYFS and KS1 will, of course, also benefit from the use of the new facilities.

Although the school would operate with an EYFS annex from next September, and as a split site from 2015, we will ensure close liaison between the two sites for both children and staff: we are committed to operating as one unified Primary school.

As I’ve mentioned before, to minimize the risk of the school committing to additional classes before new premises are actually ready, we will keep the temporary and permanent expansion projects under review. We will agree to admit additional classes only as availability of the facilities becomes certain beyond a reasonable doubt.

We will shortly provide you with a Frequently Asked Questions document that will go into more detail on these various issues, followed by meetings with parents to give you the chance to ask further questions and share your thoughts. In the meantime, please do contact me if you have any queries.
Lloyd Fletcher

To read the FAQs: Ashton Gate expansion FAQs