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:

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Summer update

As schools break up for the summer here are some notes on a meeting with the Council in July 2013

- 86.5% of families in Southville were granted their first choice (87% in Bedminster, 86% citywide)
- the only local school with places still available is Luckwell, where the bulge class was announced after applications closed
- Ashton Gate and Luckwell are on track to start in September with their bulge Reception classes (3 classes in total at AG, 2 at Luckwell)
- there have been two recent consultation meetings to discuss design ideas and options for the renovation of the Upton Road (Imperial Tobacco building) and Ashton Gate sites.

- the Council will have the revised figures for the 2014 Reception numbers in September, so it is not yet known how many classes will be needed. However the figures seem to be rising, so it is likely that at least one extra class will be needed in 2014 compared to 2013
- Compass Point is now a two-form-entry school, but Luckwell will return to a Reception intake of 30 children
- Ashton Gate expect to decide in December this year whether sufficient progress has been made on the new Imperial Tobacco site to offer 3 Reception classes again in September 2014, and whether to agree to the LA's request to offer 4 Reception classes in 2014 (a year earlier than originally planned)
- a decision will also be made this December as to whether the nursery returns to Ashton Gate for 2014. It would be accommodated on the temporary Imperial Tobacco carpark site, which was built for 3 Reception classes plus nursery. If 4 Reception classes are to be admitted in 2014, the nursery would not re-open then
- a new academy will be opening on Marksbury road in 2014, with two forms of entry. The sponsor should be announced before applications close. Although this school is peripheral to the BS3 area it is likely to have a ripple effect on places at some local schools

- Ashton Gate new Imperial Tobacco site due to open, enabling the school to expand to 4 form entry
- Southville Primary School are continuing to plan with the Council for school expansion to 3FE in 2015, using the Myrtle Triangle site. Members of the community have been given the opportunity to attend two public consultations to view the architect's proposed plans and Governors are currently awaiting a report on a feasibility study, which has been completed on both sites. We anticipate an announcement being made in the utumn term, when all processes and procedures have been completed.
- other sites on the periphery of BS3 are being considered for new schools

Beyond 2015
- Primary: the projected figures continue to rise, and it is not yet known whether new places will be needed in BS3
- Secondary: there is still surplus capacity in secondary schools citywide, but there are currently some 4,000 children in Y7, whereas over 5,000 are entering primary school. The Council expect the secondary places issue to emerge in 2017, and by 2019/2020 new schools will be needed.They have begun to look at land to acquire for this purpose.