Leeds school takes on extra pupils

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HUNDREDS of thousands of pounds will be spent to expand a Leeds school to cope with the city’s rising birth rate.

Admissions at Horsforth Featherbank Infant School will be increased as part of a scheme to transform it into a full primary school.

Over £544,000 will be spent to allow up to 210 pupils aged between four and 11 attend the school. A new extension will be built and space in the existing buildings will be freed up to create a new toilet and changing facility, an administration office, a new headteacher’s office and staff room. The school grounds will also be levelled and landscaped to form a dedicated play area for the reception class.

Coun Dawn Collins (Cons, Horsforth) said: “These improvements will help to stop the scenario whereby the council spends millions inefficiently every year, in a desperate scramble to expand existing schools, in favour of a well-planned, well-costed long-term process of providing school places for our young people.

“These new places are for families already living in Horsforth and shouldn’t be seen as a magnet for further development in Horsforth.

“As the birth rate continues to grow in Leeds, the pressure for school places will only increase. Featherbank has been rated by Ofsted as an outstanding school, and as such is a real asset to our community.

“I’m confident that this work will put the school on an excellent footing, giving local children access to top class facilities,” she said

Horsforth’s Newlaithes Junior School will also be expanded into a full primary school to help give an overall capacity for 420 children.

During 2008 there were 9,800 births in Leeds but that figure is set to rocket to 11,600 by 2018.

Plans are being rolled out across the city to expand dozens of primary schools.

The city’s primary school population of 54,329 is expected to rise by 3,000 over the next decade.

School leaders, teachers, governors and MPs from across the region will meet today for a summit that will see delegates discuss academisation and the impact real-terms cuts to funding is having on schools.

Yorkshire school leaders meet in Leeds to discuss academies and education cuts