Leeds City Council has a legal duty to ensure the provision of sufficient school places in the city, and due to a rising birth rate and new housing developments, has established an ongoing, city-wide school expansion programme to meet increased demand for school places.
Middleton and Belle Isle are planning areas within the city that are seeing an increased demand for primary age places. Data used for planning school places identifies that a need for an additional 60 reception places (equivalent to up to 2 forms of entry) may be needed across the area by 2017.
As part of the process for identifying options and reviewing school place provision in these areas, a stakeholder engagement event was held on 20 November 2014. The aim was to bring key stakeholders together to discuss the issues and generate ideas and solutions. Those invited to attend the event included school governors, head teachers, elected members, parent representatives and officers from teams across the council including school capacity planning, highways, planning and built environment.
A summary of the suggestions put forward:
Please note that these suggestions may not have been put forward by representatives of the stated school and therefore may not represent that school’s governing body view. In addition, there are also a number of practical barriers to some of the options put forward, including traffic and highways matters. Where sites or land use is suggested, this land may not be available or be in Leeds City Council’s ownership and would therefore need further investigation. Value for money, the location of a new site or existing site, and split site arrangements are all issues which need to be taken into account when determining a way forward.
- Expand St Phillip’s Catholic from 1FE to 1.5 FE creating an additional 15 places. Due to the constraints of the site it is not possible to expand to 2FE
- Expand Middleton from 2FE to 3FE, creating an additional 30 places by establishing a split site school using land at Acre Mount or Middleton Park Avenue. This land has been identified for housing within the neighbourhood framework.
- Expand Westwood from an admission number of 40 to 1.5FE (45) creating an additional 5 places. Due to site constraints it may not be possible to expand from 40 to 2FE (60).
- Expand Windmill by making use of the Hunslet Parkside site for the playing fields space, or creating a split site school by utilising, a yet to be identified, Council owned site or building.
- Expand Low Road PS from 20 to 1FE (30) creating an additional 10 places. As its federated partner, Windmill PS could assist in a holistic solution to sharing space and resources across the two sites.
- Open a new Primary School on, a yet to be identified, Council owned site or building within the planning area(s), creating up to 2FE (60 additional places). *
- Create a through-school with an existing Secondary school in the area, to operate on a dual site in Middleton/Belle Isle. Suggestions tabled were The South Leeds Academy or Cockburn School, these suggestions were not made by the secondary schools.
- Establish mainstream primary provision on the South SILC site to provide additional mainstream places for the local area.
*Option 6 would require the establishment of a new school. We would need to seek an academy provider to run the school, the local authority would be required to fund the building of the school. VA (voluntary aided schools) can be established in some circumstances.
We would welcome your comments on the above suggestions or any other options you feel we should consider.
This part of the consultation process will close on 12th December 2014. A further consultation process will be undertaken if a decision is made to progress any of the options.