Leeds Council in talks with primary to find more places for 2016

22 April 2015.......  Parents from the Roundhay area whose children have  missed out on their nearest schools for the the start of their school lives. TJ100808a Picture by Tony Johnson'
22 April 2015....... Parents from the Roundhay area whose children have missed out on their nearest schools for the the start of their school lives. TJ100808a Picture by Tony Johnson'
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A LEADING council official said the authority is in talks with a primary school about expanding to avoid a repeat of the places row in North Leeds next year.

Leeds City Council’s deputy director of children’s services Paul Brennan also accepted that another school was needed in Roundhay after parent campaigners announced plans for a free school.

There was major controversy when primary places were allocated this year with a group of parents in North Leeds claiming they had no chance of getting into local schools.

Around 80 parents around Roundhay, Moortown and Alwoodley formed the Fair Access group after missing out on all their preferred choices. The council found 90 more places at three primary schools after National Offer Day which resolved the issue for the majority of parents this year.

However campaigners are now voicing concern over the places available for children who start primary school in the Roundhay area next September. A group of parents are meeting with council officials this week. Mr Brennan said: “We are planning for 2016 across the city but North Leeds is in our minds.” He said: “We have two bulge classes for this year and Gledhow has become a three-form entry a year earlier than planned. We are in talks with a local primary about extra provision next year.” He declined to say which school was involved in the talks.

Some of the parents involved in the Fair Access Group are now planning to set up a free school serving the West Park area of Roundhay. Mr Brennan said there was clearly demand for another school in the area.

And Coun Lucinda Yeadon, the council’s executive member for children’s services vowed to work with the parents involved. She said: “I might not like the free school policy nationally but we want all schools in Leeds to be good schools. We would want to work with the parents to make sure that if it goes ahead it is a thriving school that meets the needs of pupils and parents in that community.”

Adrian Johnson with his two daughters.

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