St Michael’s to fill the breach with two extra classes

St Michael's Primary School, Stoke Gifford, Bristol.

Governors at St Michael’s Primary School in Stoke Gifford have agreed to take on an extra reception class for the next two years, in response to a shortage of places anticipated by South Gloucestershire Council (SGC).

Construction work to create three new permanent classrooms at the school is nearing completion and it had been anticipated that some of the temporary ‘Elliott’ buildings at the site would be removed once classes had transferred from them into the new building.

However, the Council has now asked the school if it could use the soon-to-be-vacated temporary classrooms for an extra intake form in September 2013 and September 2014.

The school has agreed to the request, provided that a number of conditions are met. These include the refurbishment of the temporary classrooms and improvements to other parts of the school’s infrastructure.

Governors have also insisted that the breach in admission numbers should last for no more than two years.

Headteacher Mark Freeman. writing in the latest school newsletter, accepts that there is a strong demand for places at the school, demonstrated by the fact that 25 first choice applicants were turned away last year.

SGC has earmarked £110,000 to refurbish the temporary classrooms, subject to approval by Councillors later this month.

Related link: Schools in Stoke Gifford (The Journal)

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  1. What I would like to ask the council is how do the plan to respond to this “breach” with the secondary schools in six years time ? Bradley stoke is always oversubscribed and the ridings is now not in the prime area of responsibility ? We just have the three abbey wood patchway and bscs will these cope ?

  2. Sarah,

    As a member of the Children & Young People Committee on Soouth Glos Council I can assure you that we always look as far into the future as possible. There are currently many vacant spaces in local secondary schools, apart from BSCS, and the transient nature of those vacancies in the longer term (into the 2020s) is recognised. Despite the development of the Wallscourt Farm Primary School which will provide additional primary spaces in Stoke Gifford Parish from September 2013 the need to ask St Michael’s to “fill the breach” was imperative once I had spoken against the officers alternative of St Michael’s Yr 6 pupils being taught at Abbetywood on safety grounds.

    For info:

    section 17

    short-term use of surplus secondary accommodation for primary age
    children – this is an option that could meet current demand in certain
    areas but only as a short-term and time-limited solution. The increasing
    population numbers will eventually move through to the secondary
    sector and the accommodation will need to be returned to secondary
    use. More detail on the possible benefits of this option can be found at
    Appendix Ai. A further option could be considered whereby primary
    children are accommodated in secondary accommodation outside of
    their immediate locality but this is considered to be a totally
    unacceptable solution.

    section 19

    There is sufficient capital funding available in the approved CYP Capital
    Programme to deliver essential places for Sept 2013. Consideration needs
    to be given as to the preferred option for providing new places to meet
    growth in planning Area 4 (Bradley Stoke/Stoke Gifford). The table at
    Appendix A highlights the schemes, including the options for Area 4
    requiring approval. Either option could be delivered within existing
    resources and approval is requested to progress the approved option and
    other listed schemes without further delay.

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