SCHOOLS in Bradford and Shipley could soon be expanded to meet the needs of the district's growing school age population.

And the proposed expansions could see one school double in size in the coming years.

Bradford Council has announced its plans to increase the capacity of four schools in areas of high demand for school places. A consultation has started into the expansion of Barkerend Primary School, which would grow from 412 to 630 pupils, Lidget Green Primary School, a rise from 525 to 630, Stocks Lane Primary School in Clayton Heights, 105 to 210, and Wycliffe Primary School in Shipley, 315 to 420.

Schools numbers would expand gradually over several years, with each of the four schools increasing the number of reception children it can take on.

The changes are currently out to consultation with a decision expected by mid August. If approved the Council will work on physical expansion plans for the four school buildings.

The Council decided which schools to expand based on birth rates, migration levels and new housing developments. Currently the schools are either full, or near to capacity.

Lidget Green Primary School is close to a proposed 400+ house estate on Northside Road, and not far from another proposed 200 home development at Scholemoor, both of which are expected to bring even more pressure on local schools.

Head Mike Pope said: "There is a proposed housing estate across the road, and there will be no room for the children from there if we don't increase our capacity. More and more homes are being built and the schools are already full. If we have a bigger capacity it will make it easier for parents to find a space."

Stocks Lane is the only primary school in Clayton Heights, and can currently only take on just 15 pupils each year. It will double in size if the proposals go through. Head Nicola Kilvington said: "We operate in mixed age classes at the moment, so expanding would make the school much more manageable.

"There are more and more children coming into the area and a lot of building work has started or been proposed. Expanding would help us move forward and be very beneficial for the school."

Cllr Ralph Berry, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Children’s Services, said: "Over the past four years Bradford Council has consulted on increasing intake numbers at various primary schools to meet demand. However, numbers continue to rise causing a likely shortfall in places. The proposals outlined above are designed to enable more available places for our young people in the future.”

He said expansions of other schools was likely, adding: "We are going to have to do this year on year."

The consultation lasts until July 21 and comments can be made to