More schools needed to cope with demand

More new schools planned for North Somerset to cope with new development.

More new schools planned for North Somerset to cope with new development. - Credit: Archant

AT LEAST six new primary schools and one new secondary school will need to be built in North Somerset to cope with the number of extra homes planned for the area.

North Somerset Council says it will also need to build at least one new special school to cater for the influx of people expected over the next 12 years.

These figures are based on the 14,000-17,130 new homes initially planned for North Somerset in the authority’s core strategy document.

Last week the council was told by a planning inspector the number of homes needed could infact rise to 25,950 which would mean an extra 14 primary schools would need to be added.

Cllr Jeremy Blatchford, North Somerset’s executive member for children and young people’s services, said: “We want £100million spent on new school buildings. It’s a massive infrastructure.

“We will also need to extend the pupil referral unit, by adding one or two more campuses.

“Families don’t necessarily turn up where we expect them to so it’s difficult to plan for.

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“We also don’t know where the houses will be yet, so we don’t know where the schools will be built.”

There is currently a surplus of places in Nailsea, but a small shortage of school spaces in Clevedon.

St Peter’s Primary School in Portishead has been extended to take three classes for each year group from September, while Trinity and Portishead primary schools can take up to an extra 30 pupils next year as a temporary measure.

But Cllr Blatchford has confirmed at least one more school will need to be built in Portishead to cope with the increase in school-aged children expected to move into the town.

The demand for nursery and preschool places is also expected to rise dramatically during the same period.

A North Somerset Council spokesman said: “We have received the planning inspector’s letter and are still considering the implications.

“At this stage, the number of new houses to be built is unclear.

“When a figure is agreed, we will need to carefully consider where the houses will be built, and at this stage we will consider local infrastructure, including schools.”