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Bradford Council urged to provide more pupil places as Little Horton ward ‘is at tipping point’
A councillor is pushing for another new school to be built in inner city Bradford due to the pressure on existing schools rolls by rising numbers of children.
Councillor Alyas Karmani, who represents Little Horton, says schools in his ward are already full, and this means that many families are not only missing out on their first choice schools but are also having to send children to ones some distance away from their homes.
And he does not believe the Council’s policy of expanding existing schools is sufficient to meet the expected rise in school age children in the area over the next decade.
At a meeting of Bradford Council, Coun Karmani asked Councillor Ralph Berry, executive for children’s services, if the authority would look at building a three-form primary school in the BD5 postcode area – which would have about 90 pupils in each year group.
Coun Berry responded by saying: “The Council monitors the need for school places on an ongoing basis and expansions of schools go through a process of consultation and decision making.
“The Department of Education grants capital monies to the local authority to enable it to expand schools or build additional ones in response to the growing population. Currently the council has been allocated money for 2014/15 and 2015/16.
“We do not know what future allocations will be. This makes planning beyond the next two years very difficult.”
Coun Berry said two new schools – Dixons Music School and Rainbow Primary School – had recently opened in the BD5 area, and several local schools had expanded.
Coun Berry added: “We consider that there are now sufficient school places in the area you refer to up to 2016/18. We continue to calculate and research potential future needs.”
Coun Karmani, who is leader of the Bradford Independent Group, said: “The reality on the ground is we haven’t got enough schools in BD5.
“We are at a tipping point. We are getting into the appeal season, and a lot of parents are calling me – more than I’ve ever had before – and saying they are not getting their first choice schools, and even having to go to places like Queensbury or Lidget Green for school places.
“There are a number of brownfield sites in BD5 that I think the Council could use to deliver a three form entry school.”
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