Another classroom to cope with shortfall

St Peter's Primary School.

St Peter's Primary School. - Credit: Archant

AN EXPECTED shortfall of school places in Portishead for the September 2013 intake has been confirmed.

There were 325 on-time applications from parents seeking reception places for their children at Portishead schools, but there are currently only 300 places available. North Somerset Council has confirmed that one extra class will need to be provided in the town.

The authority says it has been working with schools in the Portishead area to find a temporary solution for the shortfall and the Times understands St Peter’s Primary School in Halletts Way is likely to provide this.

A temporary building at the front of the school provided two classrooms in September 2011, one of which was to help accommodate 30 additional pupils.

The other is used for the breakfast and after school club, but during the day is just used as additional space for small group studies.

Many parents are angry that St Peter’s will have to take yet more pupils than it is equipped for and fear their children’s education and well-being will suffer.

Mum-of-three, Steph Hicks, said: “St Peter’s children are already not getting a fair deal and I’m concerned this is just going to get worse.

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“The school already has 30 more children than it was built for and now it looks as though it will be taking another 25 or more.

“The school facilities are just not adequate for these numbers and it will put pressure on both staff and pupils.”

Another mum, who did not want to be named, said: “The hall and dining facilities are too small for the proposed increased number of pupils and it means reduced play and recreation space for the children.

“In addition, pupils may have to endure a year of building work taking place in the grounds if the school expansion goes ahead for 2014.”

The first stage of the consultation into the possible expansion of St Peter’s has now closed and the responses are being analysed. The results are expected to be released in the middle of April.

Parents will be sent offers on their school applications for September 2013 on April 19.