Ardsley & Tingley

Context

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 on-going city wide school expansion programme to meet increased demand for school places.

Ardsley and Tingley is a planning area within the city that is seeing an increased demand for primary age places. Data used for planning school places identifies that a need for an additional 30 reception places (equivalent to up to 1 form 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 2 December 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.

Each option may be considered in isolation or in combination with others.

1.Expand Thorpe PS from 1FE to 2FE, creating 30 additional places

2.Expand Blackgates PS from 2FE to 3FE, creating 30 additional places.

3.Expand Hill Top PS from 1FE to 2FE, creating 30 additional places.

4.Open a new 2FE Primary School in Ardsley or Tingley, on a yet to be identified site or building.

5.Investigate the creation of an Early Years ‘Hub’ in the disused Ardsley Chapel for a Primary School to use; therefore making space for additional Reception places.

*Option 4 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 22 December 2014. A further consultation process will be undertaken if a decision is made to progress any of the options.

Ardsley / Tingley Stakeholder Event Presentation

Thank you for your comments and suggestions. This part of the consultation process is now closed. We will analyze your comments and suggestions and feed them into the work we have been doing to look at the next stage of the process.

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13 Comments

  1. Surely a new primary school would be more beneficial for all . I think the local primary schools are maxed out as it is . The more children crammed into the small class rooms is sure to have an impact on the children’s learning . Taking playground or play field space is not a good idea as I think outdoor play/exercise is just as important for the mind as pen and paper . New build all the way

  2. Thorpe PS is an old school with a small footprint. I cannot see how it could possibly be extended, especially in light of the traffic issues on the no-through road (Dolphin Lane) at 8.50 and 15.00

    In an ideal world surely you’d look to relocate Thorpe to a new, expanded, modern, site. Land in the immediate area is for sale and the council could recoup some of the investment by selling the existing site.

    A larger 3fe school in Thorpe would also alleviate some of the overcrowding issues in Middleton.

  3. I’m not sure how this is a consultation.

    Simply saying adding an FE to an existing School doesn’t give a true picture of the impact. As a parent of a child at one of these schools listed I do not want to see a permanent FE within my school because we’ve added a temporary FE this year and it feels very squeezed. I can’t see where the school will expand in the future if this become permanent.

    The previous comments about traffic does become an increasing issue bit so does the fact that the school doesn’t have the space or facilities to place another permanent class.

    I’ve seen other schools in the local area building new space but can those listed accommodate space for more pupils?

    I can’t comment on the other schools in my area as I don’t know how well they will be able to expand and take additional pupils. But I don’t believe Thorpe has the capacity to add more classrooms nor does the financial viability of selling the land for housing and finding another suitable location for a larger primary school elsewhere benefit the local expanding community.

    However I do feel that the language of the proposal suggests that Leeds Council have already formed their opinions. Accept extra pupils in an existing local school or else as they can’t guarantee another school for the area unless private equity pays for it.

    Not really much of a consultation but a political point scoring exercise shortly before an election!?

    • A stakeholder event was held on 2nd December. Those invited were Ward members, Headteachers, Chair of Governors, Governors and parent representatives (invited by the schools). In addition officers from various departments attended. The options listed are the options that were generated during the discussions on each table, on the day, in the interest of transparency none of these have been left out and work is ongoing into the viability of these options. We work closely with colleagues in Built Environment, Highways and Planning to ensure that any options that we propose to move forward (after this phase of consultation) are viable and there will be a further 4 week consultation with governors, staff and parents if a proposal at a current school is deemed viable. If it decided that a new school build is required we will need to look at possible sites, financial constraints and follow the statutory process in opening a new school which will require an academy provider.

      • If this is a transparent consultation where can we see the information used in this stakeholder meeting?

        Perhaps then people can make informed comments because at the moment I’m a NIMBY. I can’t honesty see how you can double the capacity of Thorpe PS. The road is already packed on the school run and the main hall is full when the entire school use it.

        Andy

  4. Is it possible to purchase the currently vacant site of the old East Ardsley infant school which was sold off a number of years ago? This site could be then used to build a new school to house either nursery and foundation classes or the whole of KS1.

  5. This seems like a no-brainer to me, surely opening a new purpose built primary school is the only sensible solution in this situation given the growing need for school places in this area. All the other suggestions I feel would be a detriment to the schools and their existing pupils and seem like unsatisfactory ad-hoc fixes to a serious local issue. I’m actually quite angry that this is only just being discussed now, given all the new housing developments in the area it seems like this has been coming for a long time. I can’t speak for Blackgates or Hilltop but I cannot see how Thorpe school could be posisbly be expanded to create an extra 30 places. There is a reception “bulge” class this year which has surely exacerbated the traffic chaos at pick-up and drop-off (a major issue for local residents already) and the school hall is totally jam-packed on assembly days. Adding an extra 30 places seems like a totally unsuitable solution.

  6. My children are based at Westerton however I live between Blackgates School and Westerton School and I can state that these schools are full. The parking during school runs is ridiculous to say the least, never mind completely dangerous at times. How a child has not been run over so far is due to the diligence shown by parents who understand how chaotic this area is. This goes for both schools. I do believe that a new purpose built school in a mutually agreed area would benefit all, as I think this may be the start of the increasing in pupil numbers!

  7. STOP allowing new housing developments to be built especially on green belt areas such as Ardsley Reservoir in an area with very little infrastructure in terms of shops and other amenities. All of the primary schools and GP practices in the area are running at maximum capacity. Neither of the schools listed have the resources to cope with further extension. Traffic congestion around all of these schools is already very bad. Parental parking for Hill Top School is non-existent so how will it cope with an expansion? Where would a new school be built in the Ardlsey and Tingley area when any available space has been used up for housing developments? I have seen over the last 40years a small village turn into one vast housing development!! Why was this allowed to happen????

  8. Thank you for your comments.
    Please see the attachment for the slides that were used in the presentation during the recent stakeholder event. They give details of the information we shared and the process we follow to plan school places in Leeds.
    When planning school places, as well as considering the number of children living in the area, we also consider the impact of new housing. We work closely with colleagues in the Planning department to ensure we are aware of all current and proposed housing developments to help factor-in the additional school places that may be required. As part of this process, developers are required to make a contribution towards education provision when they build new family houses.
    One of the options proposed was the expansion of Thorpe Primary School. This was because of the increased number of children who have the school as their nearest. Work is currently being carried out by colleagues in Built Environment, Planning and Highways as to the viability of this and the other expansion options posted.
    The opening of a new school would also create additional school places. In some cases, this is the right solution for an area subject to having a site and sufficient capital available to build a new school.
    We will take into account all comments posted on this forum and take forward the preferred option. No decisions will be made on the preferred option for consultation until this work is complete.

  9. I agree with the above comments surely it would make more sense to build a new school rather then extending each school! My children go to thorpe and already my eldest is in class 1 which is of 32. There is lots of land available within these areas to be able to do so, there’s the land that sits directly opposite school the used to be the old gas work would be ideal for a school or the ones mentioned near East ardsley that was sold off! Not only of thorpe is to be a 2FE from now on in that means from reception class up we would need an extra 7 classrooms as thorpe took in extra FE for reception the year gone the children lost there ITC suite, which we were compensated by receiving funding for I-pads but I think to extend to that extent the children would loose I lot of the play ground which I don’t think they have enough considering there’s nearly 500 pupils.

  10. Our son attends Blackgates. The school dropoff and pickup times are manic with cars queueing for 100s of yards down the road. As a result, more and more cars are using rat runs near the school and parking inconsiderately. Only last Friday, at pickup time, we observed an ambulance take nearly a whole two minutes to drive two sides of the school, down the A650 from the Bradford direction and right past Blackgates front entrance. This was wholly due to traffic queueing up to park outside the school and the ambulance effectively fought against near gridlocked traffic. Parents of reception-aged children are the most likely to want to park nearest the school, further exacerbating the problem.

    The surge in demand is only the beginning, as someone else has already mentioned the planned volume of development is on the increase, and this demand will only be met in a sustainable fashion by building a new school in an area which is not already suffering schooltime gridlock.

    I agree with what another person has said; there has been no public invitation to an open forum and therefore many views will not be heard. A blog, I feel, is far too informal and doesn’t assure people that their voice will not be lost amongst hundreds of comments.

    Leeds Council has an obligation to those living in areas undergoing major redevelopment – to ensure that the planning process includes sufficient amenities and doesn’t lower the standard of living for those already living in the area, or add danger by increasing traffic around our children. Adding more pupils to any of these schools does not adhere to that obligation.

    I am heavily opposed to adding a new FE to ANY of the schools listed and I believe a new school should absolutely be considered before inflating schools which are already at capacity both in the school and immediate locale. Claiming a school has room for development by removing existing playing fields serves only to reduce the means for essential outdoor exercise and does not promote good health in our children.

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