Extra class at Roundhay school is welcomed by campaigning Leeds parents

Campaigners in Roundhay who joined forces over school places last year. Photo: Tony Johnson

Campaigners in Roundhay who joined forces over school places last year. Photo: Tony Johnson

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CAMPAIGNERS have welcomed the creation of an extra class at a primary school in the area of the city where parents were affected by last year’s “places blackhole” row.

Talbot Primary, in Roundhay, has agreed to take on a one-off bulge class in the reception year, from September, following talks with Leeds City Council.

Parents who are part of the Fair Access 2016 campaign.

Parents who are part of the Fair Access 2016 campaign.

It follows last year’s controversy over primary school allocations in the north of the city which led to a parents’ campaign being launched amid claims that some families were living in a places blackhole.

In a letter to parents Talbot’s head teacher Parm Gill confirmed that the school would be taking on 30 more pupils.

Ian Dowd, from the parent group Fair Access, said: “These extra places are in exactly in the right area for helping with the blackhole. It is the best possible place for a bulge class so it is great news. We still have to wait to see how the places are allocated but its a great step in right direction.”

Last year more than 80 parents in Roundhay, Moortown and Alwoodley formed the Fair Access group after missing out on places at all of their local schools.

Leeds City Council then secure 90 more places at Gledhow, Highfield and Wigton Moor Primaries.

In her letter to Talbot parents Mrs Gill said the school’s decision to take on a one off class “recognised our role as a community school.” She said the school had ensured the extra provision would not compromise the quality of education on offer.

The council’s executive member for children Coun Lucinda Yeadon said: “We are very grateful to all of the schools across the city, like Talbot, which have been open to negotiations around taking extra pupils in both the long and short term.

“It is very pleasing that the schools recognise that the learning community must work together to ensure that we have enough good quality school places for children in city, to help tackle the increasing demand for school places in our growing city and in particular in the north Leeds area.”

Some of the campaigners involved in setting up Fair Access last year have now been given the initial go ahead by the Department for Education to open their own free school in Roundhay in 2017.

However a location for the proposed Roundhay Park Primary is yet to be confirmed.

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