North Leeds: Call for a review on school places

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LEEDS CITY Council is facing calls to produce a plan for school places to avoid a repeat of the crisis faced by parents in the North of the city this year.

A campaign was launched when more than 80 parents in Roundhay, Moortown and Alwoodley missed out on all their preferred local primary schools.

The Fair Access group said they were living in “a places blackhole” with no chance of getting into a local school.

Talks between the council and local schools, after places had been allocated, secured an extra 90 spaces which allowed most of the parents affected to get their children into one of their chosen primary schools. Conservative councillor Alan Lamb, the shadow education spokesman, is now putting a motion to the full council meeting next week calling for a comprehensive response to the school places issue to avoid a repeat of the situation.

It calls for a report to be brought to the authority’s executive board reviewing the systems used to plan for school places. It also says the council should say “what steps can be taken in the short and long terms to ensure the authority is effectively anticipating demand, so there is no repeat of this year’s problems in North Leeds.”

Coun Lamb said: “Parents and children deserve nothing less than a comprehensive response to this whole situation.

“I want to see the council take a more pragmatic approach, using the full range of tools at its disposal, rather than closing its eyes and ears to options like free schools just because there are certain reservations from some quarters. We also need to understand what went wrong this year.”