Leeds school places group looks to the future

Members of Fair Access to Local Schools demonstrate on the steps of Leeds Civic Hall, in April, in protest to the lack of school places in North Leeds. Pictured (foreground) Lucy Clement, spokesperson for Fair Access to Local Schools.
Members of Fair Access to Local Schools demonstrate on the steps of Leeds Civic Hall, in April, in protest to the lack of school places in North Leeds. Pictured (foreground) Lucy Clement, spokesperson for Fair Access to Local Schools.
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Campaigners who battled to secure extra places to ensure their children could go to local schools are appealing for parents in their neighbourhood to get in touch as they plan for the future.

Parents in parts of North Leeds claimed they were living in a school places blackhole after more than 80 missed out on any of their choice of primary schools for this September.

Lucy Clement, from the Fair Access group with campaigners during a rally earlier this year.

Lucy Clement, from the Fair Access group with campaigners during a rally earlier this year.

Following a high profile campaign Leeds City Council was able to secure 90 extra places at three primary schools.

Now members of the Fair Access Group are working on plans to create a new primary free school in Roundhay and to avoid a repeat of the situation in future years.

Parents in Roundhay, Moortown and Alwoodley were affected by the school places issue this year. The Fair Access Group is looking for parents in these neighbourhoods who have children due to start primary school in 2016, 2017 and 2018.

They have leafleted the affected areas and have also launched a new website: www.faschools.org.uk which has an interactive map showing parents whether their child would have got into a local school this September.

Extra places were found at three primaries: Gledhow, Wigton Moor and Highfield after National Offer Day had seen scores of parents missing out on any of their preferred schools.

Gledhow had been due to expand to become a three form entry in 2016 but this was brought forward to this September.

Members of the Fair Access group have secured a grant from the New Schools Network to develop plans for their own free school in the West Park area of Roundhay.

During their campaign parents were able to put questions to both Prime Minister David Cameron and Chancellor George Osborne during their visits to Leeds on the General Election campaign trail. Parents also staged a rally outside Civic Hall.

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