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West Leeds: Worried parents voice fears over schools’ expansion

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Concerned parents have launched a petition after Leeds City Council decided to raise admissions at two schools in Farsley by September 2015.

The proposed changes will see Westroyd Infant School and Springbank Junior School raise pupil numbers from 180 to 210 and 240 to 420 respectively.

However, the plans will also require that both schools convert from their traditional models and into primary schools.

Parent Gez Collins, 46, from Farsley, said he is concerned that if the changes go ahead it will ruin the character of Springbank Junior School.

He also questioned how the school would manage with the added congestion on an already busy road.

He said: “It’s a beautiful Victorian building that might be ruined by features that look added on and don’t match the design of the school.

“And congestion will be an issue, I have to park here at least half-an-hour early if I want a decent place by the time the children come out after school.”

He also added that he was worried if extra classrooms are needed there would be less green space for the children to use.

“If they lose a section of the paying field they will have even less room to play outdoors and yet there will be more children using the smaller space,” he 
said.

Other parents and relatives of the children who attend both schools said they were afraid the changes might have a negative effect on the standards at both schools - which have been graded good or outstanding by education watchdog Ofsted.

But a spokesman for Leeds City Council stated if the increase in school places does not go ahead then some children may not have a school to attend in the future as both schools will be full.

A spokesperson said: “Ensuring we have enough school places for all children and young people is a high priority in Leeds.

“We have been working hard to mitigate the impact of rising pupil numbers across the 
city.

“These proposals are being put forward to ensure there are enough places in the Farsley area, and enable Farsley residents to have access to local schools.”

Children who will be transitioning to year three when the changes come into force at Westroyd Infant School will either continue their education at the school, or will be transfered to Springbank Junior School depending on their parents’ preference.

Although, pupils attending Springbank will not be effected and will continue their education as normal through to Year six.

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