Campaigners in school places ‘black hole’ row welcome talks over an extra class at North Leeds primary

Mark Rowlinson, has welcomed the plans for an extra class at Talbot primary
Mark Rowlinson, has welcomed the plans for an extra class at Talbot primary
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A PRIMARY SCHOOL in the area of Leeds which was gripped by controversy over a lack of places last year is in talks with education bosses about taking on a one off bulge class from this September.

Talbot Primary in Roundhay, has told parents it is in discussions with the Leeds City Council.

Last year a parents group was formed in North Leeds after a group of more than 80 parents said they had missed out on places in all the local schools they had chosen in Roundhay, Moortown and Alwoodley. A high profile campaign led to 90 more places being created at Gledhow, Highfield and Wigton Moor Primaries.

Now Talbot Primary is said to be in talks with Leeds Council about taking on an extra reception class for 2016/17.

A letter from the school’s headteacher Parm Gill and chairman of governors John England said the school was proud of its role supporting local parents. It also says the school was committed to both ensuring that the provision for the extra class would match the school’s current standards but also making sure this is “not at the expense of compromising on the quality of education for all our children.”

Leeds City Council confirmed talks were taking place with Talbot Primary. The council’s executive member for children and families, Coun Lucinda Yeadon said: “Our school places team is already hard at work negotiating with existing schools and other providers across the city to develop solutions to ensure there are enough good quality school places in the right areas ready for next September’s intake.”

Campaigners want to open their own primary free school for Roundhay from 2017 but say an extra one-off bulge class at Talbot would help the situation this year.

Mark Rowlinson said: “Talbot Primary often has around twice as many children living nearest to it as it has places. It’s therefore best placed to make a difference for those living in the ‘black hole’.”

Talbot Primary had been approached by the council about providing extra places last year. At the time the school wrote to its parents saying it did not have land readily available for 2015.