New Leeds free school to tackle ‘black hole’

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PARENTS who fought for primary school places for their children this year have now submitted a bid to open their own free school.

Campaigners in north Leeds posted off their application yesterday to set up Roundhay Park Primary in 2017.

The Fair Access Group was formed this year after 86 parents discovered they had not been allocated a place for their children at any of their preferred primary schools.

Parents in Roundhay, Moortown and Alwoodley claimed they were living in a places blackhole with no chance of getting into local schools.

They mounted a high profile campaign which led to questions being put to David Cameron and George Osborne during the General Election campaign trail.

Leeds City Council was able to secure 90 additional places at three schools meaning the majority of parents were offered one of the schools they had originally chosen.

Campaigners are now looking for a long term solution to avoid a repeat of this year’s events.

Lucy Clement who played a leading role in the Fair Access Group, has teamed up with two school governors Mark Rowlinson and Gillian Hayward to develop plans to create their own free school.

She said: “The school needs to be as close as possible to West Park in Roundhay to make sure it closes the blackhole.”

The plan is for a two form entry primary school taking on sixty pupils each year. The school’s vision is built around four key areas: the national curriculum; positive attitudes to learning; engaging teaching and promoting good citizenship.

Mrs Clement said the team have spent the summer developing plans for the school and ensuring they could demonstrate it had community support. The bid has also had the backing of Leeds City Council which has said it accepts there is a need for more school places in this part of Roundhay.