Yorkshire school which can’t fit all pupils on playground to get new games area

A primary school in York city centre which can no longer fit all of its pupils on its playground is to get a new outdoor games area.

Fishergate Primary School has been granted permission to build a new multi-use games area (MUGA) on its playing field in Escrick Street. The school was originally built for 180 pupils but now caters for 300 children.

Headteacher Tina Clarke told a council planning committee the school field was often unusable in colder weather, while PE coordinator David Pennington said there was a waiting list for extra-curricular sporting activities.

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Sport England objected to the plan because the MUGA will encroach slightly on onto the current seven-a-side football pitch, but Mr Pennington explained the MUGA would give them more flexibility and cater for more sports, such as tennis, basketball and netball.

Fishergate School in YorkFishergate School in York
Fishergate School in York

Backing the plans, Coun Janet Looker said: “Running an inner-city primary school is always challenging as far as space is concerned. The Victorians didn’t necessarily consider football as a suitable recreation for young pupils.

“With the British weather, MUGAs do make an awful lot of sense because you can use them day in, day out without the problems of getting the grass in a mess.”

Committee chair Coun Tony FIsher added: “The small loss of the football pitch is more than compensated for by the opportunity for students to play all year round and to try different games other than just football.”

The MUGA will have a 6pm curfew and there will be no floodlighting.

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