£3.9m plan to help ease lack of primary places in Leeds

Civic Hall in Leeds.
Civic Hall in Leeds.
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Multi-million pound plans to expand a north Leeds primary school by 210 places look set to be given the green light by council bosses today.

Gledhow Primary School, in Lidgett Lane, could become a three form entry primary from September 2016, eventually growing to accommodate 630 pupils as part of a £3.9million expansion plan.

The move is part of a raft of school building proposals set to secure more than 3,100 new primary places in 16 schools across the city as the city’s population continues to grow.

Gledhow Primary School is one of the three schools to experience a growth in capacity from September 2016.

A report to go before Leeds City Council’s executive board today recommends the approval of plans to expand it, eventually increasing the admission limit in reception from 60 to 90.

The document states that concerns were highlighted regarding the increase in traffic, loss of part of the school’s play area to make way for the expansion and a lack of plans to expand secondary schools, branding the proposals “the cheapest and easiest option”.

But the report highlights comments made by the School Organisation Advisory Board which convened in November, stating: “There will be a need to expand secondary school provision across the area and plans will be brought forward.”

Last year the Local Government Association warned that the numbers of primary school pupils in Leeds will rise to 69,641 by 2016/17, meaning more than 4,000 new places were needed. The expansion of Gledhow Primary is part of a raft of measures to tackle the issue after several parents reported failing to find a nearby primary school place for Leeds children over the summer.

The report to the council states: “The delivery of pupil places through basic need is one of the most basic entitlements of a Child Friendly City. A good quality school place contributes to the achievement of targets within the Children and Young People’s Plan such as our obsession to ‘improve behaviour, attendance and achievement’.”