Plans for schools expansion advance

Plans to expand schools in Leeds to cope with a rapidly increasing birth rate have taken a step forward.

Leeds Council agreed this week for Education Leeds to begin consulting the public on plans to expand six school sites to accommodate extra pupils.

An extra 240 primary school places are needed for 2012 and it is estimated a further 300 to 400 places will need to be created every year to meet demand.

School expansion plans are expected to cost at least 15.8m.

The plans are for the expansion of Wykebeck Primary, Bracken Edge Primary and Little London Primary.

The age range of Roundhay High, Allerton Grange High and Carr Manor High would be changed to accommodate four- to 18-year-olds, with primary provision on land close to each school.

Education Leeds has already spoken to headteachers, governors and councillors but views of local people are now being sought before final decisions are made.

Chris Edwards, chief executive of Education Leeds. said: "This consultation will ensure families and local communities can find out more about the plans and influence the final decision.

"Any additional places will be provided in purpose-built, permanent classrooms and buildings, and will ensure the brilliant education already available at these schools to available to every child who needs it."

To accommodate the expansion, land at, or next to, the following sites will be needed for new buildings to meet the demand for 2012 and beyond: Torre Drive; Allerton Grange; former Braimwood School; Carr Manor High; Blenheim Centre; Moortown primary; Gledhow primary and Oakwood pupil referral unit.

Public consultation will take place in January and February and a report taken to the council's Executive board in March.

If approved, official notices outlining the detail will be published in April.