Meanwood

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 ongoing city-wide school expansion programme to meet increased demand for school places. Meanwood is an area where there is an increased demand for primary age places.  Projection data from various sources identifies that an additional 30 reception places (equivalent to up to 1 form of entry) may be needed across the area from September 2015.

As part of the process for identifying options and reviewing school place provision in the Meanwood area, a Stakeholder Engagement Event using Outcome Based Accountability (OBA) methodology was held on 9 March 2015.  The aim was to bring key stakeholders together to discuss the issues and generate ideas and solutions.  Attendees at the event included school governors, head teachers, elected members, parents 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 in Leeds City Council ownership and would therefore need further investigation.

  • Procure an Academy Sponsor to open a new 2 form entry (FE) Primary School on a site yet to be identified by LCC in the Meanwood area, creating an additional 60 places
  • Expand Carr Manor 4-19 school from 1FE to 2FE, creating an additional 30 places
  • Expand St Urban’s Catholic Primary School from 1FE to 2FE, creating an additional 30 places
  • Expand Meanwood C of E Primary School from 1FE to 2FE, creating an additional 30 places
  • Create a through-school or split site primary school on a site yet to be identified by LCC in the Meanwood area
  • Create a further 2 FE (60 places) in the area to provide additional capacity that takes into account future housing developments

We would welcome your comments on the above suggestions or any other options you feel we should consider.

Here is the presentation from the event: Meanwood presentation

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32 Comments

  1. I can’t see that either St Urban’s or Meanwood CE would be able to accommodate 2 class entry without a radical rebuild. Certainly St Urban’s can only just accommodate 1 form and I would imagine Meanwood CE is even cosier. Neither site provides much room for manoeuvre. Where exactly in Meanwood is the population pressure felt the most? This would help those who wish to comment provide more useful feedback. Any expansion should be near where it is most needed to avoid any increase in already over stretched traffic systems.

  2. It’s always disappointing to see the foresight of the local authority. A few years ago Bentley Lane Primary school was closed! Anyway, moving forward – there is also plenty of space available on the grass area near Cardinal Heenan, you could build a new school for 300 pupils never mind 30 – the demand for school places is only going to increase.

  3. After much deliberation l would echo the concerns raised above about Meanwood C/E and St Urbans being expanded due to restricted space. A further problem with Meanwood C/E would be the lack of access to the school other than on foot as currently with 1 FE there are significant problems with traffic congestion and on occasions disruption to local residents. It would also impact on the wider community in terms of restricting access to the park. This is a long term problem and therefore the provision of a new school would be best on many levels if sited near residential properties where there is presently no school facility close by. This in turn would help alleviate traffic congestion by diluting the effects within the local area, encourage healthy lifestyles by encouraging families to walk, and consequently reduced impact on the local population.

  4. Tongue Lane is already worryingly extremely busy with traffic not just to St Urbans primary, Cardinal Heenan High school, Penny fields, Milestones nursery and Brandon Care Home and David Lloyds!! In addition to that a lot of traffic travelling to and from the Residential areas and to Central Meanwood (especially since Waitrose arrived attracting people from far and wide, along with delivery vehicles), Headingley as well as the City Centre!.Tongue Lane has resulted in numerous incidents of dangerous driving reported to the police, as well as accidents. The council are in the process of trying to recruit a crossing patrol person (which has been unsuccessful andtaken over 8 months so far!) The police have recorded numerous drivers speeding here so the council are planning to install flashing speed signs soon.
    All these factors highlight how bad the tragic here is already and the dangers occurring. It would be grossly irresponsible to increase traffic further since the community is already at great risk especially vulnerable people such as children and older people. Additional school places in this area would add to the chaos and danger.
    Besides, the “grassy area ” beside Cardinal Heenan is a continuously well used and needed sports area for secondary school children. It is also used often by St Urbans school for football practice and inter school games. Keeping these sports grounds should be a priority for the health of children.
    Adding to buildings in this area could significantly devalue houses in this area too.
    I am not fully aware of how much use age there is with the tennis courts beside Meanwood COE? Again, I would imagine it would be a priority to keep these sports facilities, as well as concerns by nearby residents.
    St Urbans school is far too small for any additional pupils or staff inside or outside. Parking is already a huge problem. Today for example there were over 30 vehicles and 2 buses in such a tiny car park ! Cars also were parked in nearby residential areas as it was full. There is no capacity to expand at all.
    All in all, the time scale is too short to make such drastic changes by sept 2015.

  5. I agree with Maryflo, for both St Urban’s and Meanwood C of E it’s very hard to see how they can physically expand to cater for 2FE. Both schools already struggle to accommodate a 1FE and neither school has much land attached. I also think that traffic congestion and safety issues should be considered; certainly on Tongue Lane traffic is a big problem and there are already petitions in place to try and improve road safety. This problem would be intensified by increasing the yearly intake of St Urbans to 60 students.

  6. It should be recognised that the comments on previous discussions (in this case from the Ardsley and Tingley discussion) mirror this discussion and the concerns of Meanwood community.

    Here are some very wise words from that discussion…

    ” 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.

    posted 18/12/2014 at 20:56 by Pete Mahon”

    There are lots of members of Meanwood community that support these views. How can the views of people whose children have not yet started school or indeed the numerous local residents that the changes would dramatically affect be heard without having a well advertised open forum?

  7. More wise words from the Manston swarcliffe and Whinmoor discussion.This is equally applicable to the Meanwood schools…

    “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

    posted 10/12/2014 at 15:42 by Angela Buchholz”

    Leeds should be child friendly…”Child friendly Leeds on Twitter ” is advertised to the right hand side of this page. This should include adequate space at school for learning and playing for healthy minds and bodies. It should also encourage safe highways to walk, cycle and drive children to school. Meanwood’s traffic problems and dangerous driving incidents have been brought to the council and police numerous times. They are worsening. Road safety needs to be greatly improved without adding to the problem with additional cars due to an increase in school places around St Urbans and Meanwood Church of England. It would be ideal to suggest more families walk their children to school but so many people have to go to work after dropping off their children to school, no thanks to the government cutbacks of child benefit etc . Is Nigel Richardson involved in these proposals? His support would be requested and expected by many not to increase the number of children in these already full schools, nor to increase the traffic problems.

  8. I agree it must be so regrettable that Bentley Lane Primary was knocked down. It was very short sighted that the council did not expect population growth with what is now the resulting ” population pressure”. Is the money earned from selling it off as a housing development still available? If not what has it been used for? Have lessons been learned in this situation, as with Headingley primary and other schools that have been closed down?
    If a whole school was demolished and is suddenly needed again, squeezing staff and pupils into schools built for a certain number of pupils is plainly wrong. A new school should be built as the pressures will get worse.

  9. Can I also request that at the very least there is some kind of meeting at all of the schools potentially involved to obtain the views of parents of children currently at these schools and who will be attending next year? Considering the major impact these changes will make surely this is a reasonable and feasible request. It should involve all the schools to ensure equality and give those who are not able to access this discussion online the oppurtunity to express their opinion and to discuss with others.

    • Thank you for your comments. The online blog is used to ensure that suggestions coming out of the stakeholder event are shared and to provide an opportunity for people to comment at this stage. The stakeholder event and the blog are the first part of a wider discussion and once a viable option is determined by Leeds City Council, a 4 week public consultation will be held. This will include discussions with school staff, governors, children, parents and the local community including residents.

  10. Option 1 – academy sponsor. Why build only an academy, why can’t the council build a new school? Lack of funds?
    Option 2 Expand which Carr Manor site – the original one i would think would be hard to expand, the one in the high school i find pretty ludicrous in the first place, they don’t seem to have much facilities or outdoor space. It would be unfair on the children to expand it further, i am unaware of the traffic situation for Carr Manor so will comment no further.
    Option 3 expand St Urbans. Insane. Not an option. the school is tiny, it has no land on which to expand and the traffic on Tongue Lane is already very bad, adding another intake of 30 pupils a year would put even more pressure on the road and the parking (or lack of) facilities. There is also NOT “plenty of space” at Cardinal Heenan and to suggest a school be built there on the grounds used by the children is unwise- it would also result in intense traffic pressure on Tongue Lane and effect public health (traffic fumes)
    Option 4 expand Meanwood C of E. Where? It is also a tiny site. It is outrageous enough that so much school land has been bought by developers so the children have no where to play. Are you suggesting carving up some of Meanwood park? That in itself would be a great shame. Access would be a great problem also, with only a narrow lane to get to it.
    Option 5 a through school or split site school. not sure what a through school is but possible sites i could suggest would be one of the fields on either side of Stonegate Road (one on right after junction with Steinbeck Road – Carr Manor Fields, or one on left further up before King Lane)Or perhaps on land adjacent to Meanwood Road, opposite the Cricket club.
    Option 6 create further 60 FTE taking into account future housing developments. DONT BUILD ANYMORE HOUSES IN MEANWOOD. There was no consideration given to school provision when the Woodleas were built. A school should have been built in the middle of that estate. Bentley Lane primary school was closed. Repurchase that and reopen it. The doctors surgery was a school once! The lack of foresight by the council and government is astounding. I could have told you 6 years ago there was a baby boom, why not plan around birth figures/ housing developments. Only other suggestion really is reopen park side road and build a school at the bottom of the hill there, near the ring road, giving it 2 access lanes and hopefully some land for the children to play on. Or develop the disused and abandoned mental hospital in the middle of the Woodleas estate – the site on Woodlea drive oppostite the little play ground. That would be a perfect solution as residents could walk to that school
    In conclusion i don’t think it is appropriate or wise to extend any existing schools, i think it was extremely short sighted not to have accommodated provision of school places when building new houses/shutting old schools and i think the only option is to unfortunately build a new site or develop Bentley Lane and or meanwood hospital in the Woodleas. Any further housing developments need a school and traffic considerations in place. Don’t the council employ town planners for this??!!!

    • Any idea to build on Carr Manor field or the green space further up stone gate road are frankly ridiculous and will not happen if local residents have anything to say. The obvious site is the old mile hill school site which remains derelict after the local council stupidly shut down two perfectly good schools.

  11. Very interesting discussion. Echo comments about Bentley Lane school being closed.

    Re Meanwood C/E, it’s worth noting that one reason there’s high traffic congestion is that (too) many parents drive their children to this school — and one reason for that is that the school is 100% selective: many children who live very close by are not offered places.

  12. In a discussion about another area (Ardsley and Tingley), “slides that were used in the presentation during the recent stakeholder event” were attached.

    As previously requested, please can you equally attach the relevant slides here, as soon as possible so that people viewing this discussion are as fully informed as the stakeholders?

  13. I agree with the concerns raised re building space and traffic at Me an wood and St Urban’s. As someone who lives 2 streets a way from one of these schools and still as a non church goer of any denomination was unable to fulfill the entry criteria I think raising numbers at these denominational schools will only increase traffic as children are driven in or out of the area every morning as I have to. Any school provision has to be open to all locally and supported by its wider community not simply shoe horned into current ‘popular’ schools.

  14. I echo the comments raised above about expansion of both Meanwood C of E and St Urbans’ schools. The physical space is simply not available nor is the transport infrastructure. I find it difficult to believe that we are looking at such a short timescale to implement these changes. Introducing an extra form entry at reception level will inevitably impact upon the overall running of the school. What is the engagement strategy for parents and schools in order to accommodate such a short lead time?

  15. As a parent of a Reception pupil at Carr Manor Primary school, I can tell clearly that the school is struggling to cope with the number of children they’ve taken for 2014. I was told there would be 60 children when I applied for a place then it’s changed to 90 when we started but I think it’s actually over 120 children in 4 groups. As Carr Manor Primary places all their preschool children in their Reception, they had to spend lots of time dealing with some of the preschool children’s toilet accidents, tantrum etc therefore had to sacrifice the teaching to the Reception at the first term. Now, it seems they’ve been working at bringing the class all to the basic level so as to make it easy for their teaching later on. Additionally, I reckon they’re seriously short of staff as there’re always supplied teachers in the classes. Furthermore, it’s hard to get a place at the after school club because the school isn’t able to cope with the extra children they’ve taken. Lastly, there is a safety risk too as children can easily wander off themselves at the pick up time without being noticed as it’s always crowded when the door is open. To be fair, the teachers are doing their best but the head should have had a second thought last year. I hope the above helps the authorities make the right decision for next year.

  16. Further to my previous comment, I just noticed there are actually 5 not 4 groups at the Reception in Carr Manor Primary School. So the number of the reception with preschool children mixed in is about the size of a small school in total. Sigh!

  17. Just found out that Carr Manor Community School will be accommodating an extra reception class from September. As it is the new primary phase of the through school and currently still has empty classroooms, I understand the decision in the short term.
    What are the long term implications for the school?
    Is this a temporary solution to next year’s shortfall or a long-term plan to double the school’s intake?
    Rather alarmed that decisions are being made without public consultation or consultation with parents at CMCS.
    We received the information ONLY TODAY about this forum – which runs till today?
    I would echo others’ disappointment at the lack of foresight in demolishing a local primary school, only to need the spaces a few years later.
    Find a new site?

  18. As a parent of a child currently attending Carr Manor Community School I would like to add that we have received a letter today stating that the school will be taking 60 reception students as opposed to the usual 30 this September- so it sounds like a decision has already been made – So much for having a consultation!
    In the short term this is feasible as the primary phase is still being filled year by year with the eldest children being in year 2 currently, so there is capacity ( 7 classrooms with just 3 being permenantly occupied). But what will happen going forward?
    The primary phase building was only opened in 2012 and it does make a person wonder why extra provision wasn’t considered at that point. And as all primary students are guaranteed a place at the high school, taking extra students now will only compound problems later on.

  19. Making Carr Manor community school a 2fe is ridiculous. The parents have not been informed until today that this was even an option, and this has obviously been a decision that has already been made. There will not be enough room in 3 years time to accommodate all the classes- assuming that this 2fe is only for 1 intake- which I fear will not be the case. Very disappointing form leeds city council.

    • The above comments are echoed by many. There are concerns that adding a full class to primary schools that have been purposefully built for a set number of pupils is ludicrous and potentially detrimental for numerous reasons outlined above.
      It is shocking that changes have already been implemented before the end of this consultation to the dismay of many parents. It begs the question what is the point of this consultation?
      Also, how will such extreme changes be monitored,? Could the changes be reversed if problems occur?
      Have the council not got any idea if there is a potential site to build a new school, do they not have staff that have this insight and knowledge?
      Answers to the above questions here would be appreciated by many. Thank you.

  20. Further to my earlier comment, it is particularly maddening that comments date back as far as March 16th, yet we (parents with children already at Carr Manor Community School) only found out about this consultation today. Why has it been left so late? And why didn’t the council arrange a meeting to infom parents?

  21. Although the blog has now closed we felt that it was important to answer some of your questions. The additional 30 children that Carr Manor Community School is admitting in September 2015 is a temporary measure or bulge to address the immediate pressure on places for the next academic year.

    Once we have identified a preferred option for permanent places we will hold a formal 4 week consultation with schools, parents, residents and other interested parties. That consultation will include drop ins for parents and local residents, meetings with governors, school staff etc and will enable comments to be made in a more formal way. Proposal(s) will be presented to the Council’s Executive Board for a decision to be made on the recommendations. Please be assured that no decisions have yet been made about permanent places and that a full and transparent process is in place to ensure that interested parties are given the chance to make representations.

  22. The area around Carr money already provides around 90 primary places and traffic, litter and school bus journeys already cause problems around the schools. Any new provision would surely be better situated where there are currently no local schools. The old mile hill site is still derelict and would provide an excellent site for any new schools.

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