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, 21 November 2013

Increased Intake at Southville Primary School for September 2014

Below is a letter issued by Sandie Smith (Southville Primary School Headteacher) on the 18th November 2013 regarding proposals for the expansion of the School for the September 2014 and 2015 intakes.

Dear Parents and Carers,

This letter is to update you on the current position on proposals for the expansion of Southville Primary School.

Governors have spent many hours examining the pros and cons and debating whether or not expansion is the right path to take; last week the Full Governing Body (FGB) decided to agree to the school increasing to three form entry across two sites in September 2015 subject to certain conditions.

Following the feasibility study the school were told that our preferred option would not be possible (younger children on the Myrtle site). However, a horizontal split across the school is still in our opinion the best for the children’s education, leadership and management and retaining the sense of community and school ethos, so it has been decided to reverse the plan and house years 3 to 6 on the new site. This is of course subject to further investigation by the experts.

Bristol City Council have also recently asked the school to consider using the Princess Elizabeth building on the Hayleigh site to accommodate two additional reception classes from September 2014 - 2015. School representatives visited the site and did not feel this was appropriate for the children in reception or any other year group, so we have looked again to see if we can help in some other way. 

As a result of input by a consultant, senior leadership consideration and further in depth discussions, Governors have agreed to allow an intake of 3 reception classes in 2014 on the Merrywood site. The proposal is to: 

  • Resite or close our nursery class (somewhere other than the Myrtle site) use the existing nursery space as a reception class and for additional reception toilets.
  • Return the current reception provision to the original 2 classrooms by separating
  • with sliding doors
  • Increase the learning space in the three classrooms by providing covered areas outside – possibly having a yurt, and canopies/shelters outside the classrooms. We are also looking at the possibility of classroom lofts to increase space inside and further developing the Foundation Stage outside area – advice is being sought on this.

We are aware that parents and carers are anxious about the proposed changes and we understand the conflicting views that a large community is bound to have. However a large number of stakeholders have been very encouraging, believing as we do that the school must do its best to serve the local community if children living in Southville are to be educated near their homes.

We are aware of rumours circulating on this subject but this is the most up to date information; we will keep you informed when there are any further developments.

Yours sincerely,

Sandie Smith


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