A PRIMARY school will expand into a neighbouring building from next September, doubling the amount of children it can take on in an effort to meet rising pupil numbers in the area.
Idle CofE primary school will be expanded into the currently unused High Park school to raise the number of pupils from 214 to 420.
There will be an extra "bulge" class at the school starting this year, and children in this class will be taught in temporary accommodation until the full expansion is completed in September 2015. When it is finished, the existing Idle CofE school on Booth Royd Drive will house the school's reception and Key Stage 1 classes while the High Park school building will be converted into classrooms for the school's Key Stage 2.
The changes were discussed with parents at a meeting in June and a planning application for the expansion has now been approved.
The buildings will be linked by a "contemporary, sweeping" link corridor. High Park, which was formally known as Greenfield School, is a former council run special school that is currently boarded up. The school operated from both the Idle site and another building in Low Moor before moving into a single building in Heaton last year.
Each year an extra 30 pupils will join the reception at Idle Primary, meaning the school will reach 420 pupils by 2020. The development will also include an extended car parking area, more than doubling the number of spaces from 22 to 50.
Dr David Lee, chairman of Bradford Diocesan Academies Trust, pointed out that the school was given an "outstanding" rating by Ofsted in March, and added: "We are very encouraged with the way the school has been performing, and we welcome a good school being able to offer services to more of the community."
Idle Councillor Jeanette Sunderland (Lib Dem, Idle and Thackley) said: "I'm pleased we've been able to get the application through, and it means now they can get on with the work and make sure children don't have to spend too long in temporary classrooms.
"There have been a lot of children who haven't been able to get a place at a local school. This will help satisfy that problem, but even after this opens there will be very little capacity for another increase in children. It makes sure local children will get a place in a local school, but it doesn't create additional capacity of any new housing developments are built in the area."
An application to build 22 houses on a piece of land next to the schools, the site of the former Thackley Grange care home, is expected to be decided in October.