New school plans in east Leeds - council urges people to have their say

Credit: PA/David Davies.
Credit: PA/David Davies.

A public consultation has started for people to share their views on plans for a new school in Leeds.

Leeds City Council is in talks with Arcadia Group Ltd with a view to acquiring an unused 2.7-hectare playing field off Hudson Road, Burmantofts.

The site is "located directly within an area of need for additional secondary school places," said the council.

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If approved at a later date, the secondary free school for pupils in the east of the city is proposed to open to Year Seven pupils in September 2021.

In east Leeds a combination of population growth and extra demand generated by planned new housing means that another secondary school is required to ensure that the additional demand for places can be met, and there would be eight classes for every year group at the proposed school.

Coun Jonathan Pryor, the executive member for learning, skills and employment said: "Education is an incredibly important part of our ambition for Leeds to be the best city to live and grow up in.

"Over the last ten years the increases we’ve seen in primary school numbers are now starting to be felt as children move towards secondary school and why we are considering bringing forward options for increasing the amount of secondary provision in some areas of the city."

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The council says that since 2009 it has created more than 11,500 primary school places across the city in response to rising birth rates, which increased from 7,500 per year in 2001 to a peak of 10,350 in 2012.

For the current academic year which started in September 2018, a total of 1,600 new primary learning places were created to meet the continued demand.

The proposal will also include 30 places for pupils with Special Educational Need and/or Disability (SEND) under the category of Resourced Provision.

The outcome of the four-week consultation will be shared with the council’s executive board and, if the proposals are given approval to move to the next stage, any potential free school sponsors would be invited by the authority to submit bids to run the facility.

A final decision on the proposal would be expected by April 2020.

These are the Leeds secondary schools that received the most applications for places in 2019

Free schools are funded by the government but are not run by the local council and have more control over how they operate.

They can set their own pay and conditions for staff, change the length of school terms and the school day and do not have to follow the national curriculum.

Run on a not-for-profit basis, they can be led by charities, universities, independent schools, community and faith groups, teachers, parents and businesses.

To view the consultation, which is open until Sunday July 7, visit www.leeds.gov.uk/schoolconsultation