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.
Manston, Swarcliffe and Whinmoor are areas of the city where we are seeing an increased demand for primary school places. Data used for planning school places identifies a need for an additional 60 reception places (equivalent to up 2 forms entry) across the area by 2017.
As part of the process for identifying options and reviewing school place provision in this area, a Stakeholder Engagement Event was held on 21 October 2014. 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, parent group representatives and officers from teams across the council including school capacity planning, highways, planning and built environment.
The focus of the event was on short term planning for primary school places up to 2018. It was on the children already born and living in the area, and on new housing under construction or where construction is expected to start in the next 18 months – particularly developments at Grimes Dyke, Vickers and Optare.
Longer term housing planned as part of the East Leeds Extension and which equates to over 7000 houses will require the equivalent of an additional four two form entry primary schools, and further events will be planned to address this in conjunction with the timeline of those developments. School place planning for these developments was not the purpose of this event.
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 ownership and would therefore need further investigation. Value for money, the location of the new site or existing site, impact of the proposed arrangements e.g. shift system on working parents and school staff are all issues which need to be taken into account when determining a way forward.
- Expand Fieldhead Carr by 1FE, creating 30 additional places.
- Expand Grimes Dyke by 1FE, creating 30 additional places.
- Implement a temporary increase in Reception at Fieldhead Carr to accommodate up to 1FE whilst permanent expansions are being processed in the interim period.
- St Theresa’s to be rebuilt as a new school expanding from 2FE to 3FE
- Identify local developers to sponsor a new Primary School and commission it on a new site within the area(s), creating up to 2FE (60 additional places).*
- Open a new Primary School in an existing Council building e.g. a disused library or The East Leeds Family Learning Centre, and work with partners to commission a new Primary School on that site.*
- Design and implement a shift-system for participating schools to opt-in to that allows two or more institutes to share resources within one site by splitting the school day in two or more sessions.
- Create a through-school on the site of The John Smeaton Academy by utilising Council buildings which sit adjacent, creating additional primary places.
- Utilise land on the site of the Seacroft Hospital to commission a through-school which would link to Crossgates Primary School and create new primary and secondary places.
- Create SEN (Special Educational Needs) Provision for children with autism at Manston St James Primary Academy as either Partnership or Resource for up to 14 children.
* Both 5 and 6 would require the establishment of a new school. We would need to seek an Academy sponsor to run the school, the local authority would be required to fund the building of the school. A local existing academy provider could come forward. 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.
Please note this consultation will close at 4pm on 14th November 2014.