DCSIMG

Leeds schools bosses 'get their sums wrong'

Education bosses have been accused of getting their sums badly wrong over a new £20m school in Leeds.

Construction is well under way of Swallow Hill Community College in Armley, which will replace West Leeds High and Wortley High in September.

The school, which is going up as part of a city-wide rebuilding programme, will have 1,637 pupils on roll. However, only 1,200 will be housed in the new high-tech facilities being built next to the current West Leeds site.

See what's in store for us with our video weather forecast

The other 437 children, from the two youngest year groups, will be housed for two years in the Wortley site, which Leeds City Council has already agreed to spend 1m modernising.

"This new school is simply too small," said city councillor Janet Harper (Lab, Armley). "I find it unbelievable that it is possible to plan and build a school which does not have enough room for all of years.

"This means that 437 young people cannot benefit from this fantastic new school. Both my colleagues and I raised concerns about the size of the new school at the outset and our comments were ignored.

"The administration plans to solve this problem by spending nearly 1m to build temporary accommodation, that will be across a busy road a full 10 minutes walk away from the new school. I find all of this totally unacceptable."

In total, 302,000 will be spent refurbishing the Wortley site, with a further 612,600 allocated for ICT equipment which will later be moved to the new school.

Chris Edwards, chief executive of Education Leeds, said: "We did not get our figures wrong regarding Swallow Hill Community College and are building a brilliant new school which is the right size for the long-term needs of the community.

"We knew there would be a temporary period where additional places would be required. We have kept families fully informed and worked closely with both the schools involved and Swallow Hill's temporary governing body to agree the best solution.

"Our priority is making sure that every young person at Swallow Hill Community College has access to brilliant teaching and learning during this transition period.

"The lower school will provide just that – a small and supportive learning environment supported by cutting edge ICT which can be used after the lower schools closes.

"There will be opportunities for those in the lower school to use the facilities on the main site in which they will soon enjoy learning in every day."

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THIS STORY. CLICK THE COMMENT BUTTON BELOW TO HAVE YOUR SAY - WE'LL PUBLISH THE BEST IN FRIDAY'S YORKSHIRE EVENING POST.

 
 
 

Back to the top of the page