LEEDS: Plans to swell capacity at North Leeds school

Moor Allerton Hall School
Moor Allerton Hall School

Parents in North Leeds racing to get primary school places for their little ones could soon be given a welcome boost.

Plans to expand Moor Allerton Hall Primary School by more than 200 places are set to go before councillors this week.

The plans would involve extending the school to a three-form entry school from September 2019.

This would increase the capacity from 420 pupils to 630 pupils over a number of years, with each intake rising from 60 to 90 pupils.

However, it is not yet clear how the school would fit the extra pupils in.

The consultation document said: "At this stage we have begun to develop an idea of how the existing site might accommodate the additional pupils however these plans are purely indicative and do not represent what a final design might look like.

"An option being considered is the potential to utilise the former New Highwood pub site as a relocation proposal for the community centre and the children’s centre which could provide enhanced facilities for the community."

There were 135 public responses to the plans, with just over half supportive of the application.

But some locals were unhappy with the plans.

One objector told the council: "Your modelling data and record on school expansions is flawed, as a consequence you expand in the wrong places and waste public money.

"There are numerous examples where you have done this across the city, expanded a school and then not filled it, in the worst cases you have expanded a school and not even got the pupil numbers up to the pre-expansion level. This is incredulous."

Another referred to the Moor Allerton Hall's most recent Ofsted inspection in 2017, which said the school required improvement.

The council said it was responding to demand in north Leeds.

"Since 2012 several schools within the Roundhay ward and surrounding wards have either permanently expanded or have had additional accommodation added to their sites by way of temporary/bulge increases.

"One of the main issues in this area is that there are not enough places at Talbot Primary School for all of the children who live closest to it.

"A number of the other local schools are filled with siblings and their own ‘nearest’ children making it difficult for some families living nearest to Talbot to access a place either at Talbot or at most of the other local schools.

"Moor Allerton Hall Primary School is situated within a reasonable distance of this area of pressure and would be well placed as an admission point to address additional demand."

Details of the plans will go before Leeds City Council's School Organisation Advisory Board on Wednesday at 10am.

The council's executive board is expected to make a final decision later in the year.