Parents’ fears over Leeds school allocation

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Concerned parents claim they need more schools in their north Leeds community.

Parents living in Kirkstall are calling on education chiefs to boost the number of primary school places in the area.

Richard Bolam, 37, said his young son will be forced to travel almost three miles a day to a school in Bramley.

And he has written to education chiefs to warn them over “insufficient” education provision in Kirkstall.

The complaint comes after the family failed to receive a primary school place at any of their five preferred school choices.

And he warned that a school close to where the family live was closed down due to a lack of demand 10 years ago.

Mr Bolam, who is currently appealing against his son’s allocated primary school place, said: “We were not concerned about not getting our first preference but were amazed that we didn’t get offered any of our five selections.

“A few years ago, our local school, Beckett’s Park Primary, was closed down along with some other schools in the area.

“This was due to there not being enough children in the locality which is obviously no longer the case.

He added: “We didn’t apply for the most outstanding schools in the area because we just want our son to go to school in the local community.

“It just feels like we are being forced out and my son will have to go to a school away from all his friends.”

The YEP recently revealed that education chiefs will be faced with finding school places for an extra 4,000 primary pupils over the next three years because of soaring birth rates.

A Local Government Association report warned that Woodhouse, Stanningley, Kirkstall, Ardsley and Tingley are all listed in areas where demand will outstrip the number of places by 2015/16.

Almost 500 children in Leeds did not get into any of their five choices of primary school this year.

Paul Brennan, deputy director for children’s services, said:“Ensuring we have enough school places for all children and young people is a high priority in Leeds.

“We have been working hard to mitigate the impact of rising pupil numbers across the city.

“We continue to monitor levels of demand and plan for additional places.”

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